Thursday, 9 June 2011
Why I Stopped Playing my Violin
For all of you awaiting the next episode of "Intrigue", please excuse the delay.
Today I only post something I have written after the Cello-fund raising for Christchurch.
Today I had been by the dentist, had computer problems and a load of telephone calls leaving me no spare time to continue with "Intrigue". So I will need a bit of time to work up the whole load I accumulated today and get back to pleasure ;o)
I will try to have the next episode ready for you next Monday.
The thoughts about Richard Armitage playing the cello brought back the memories of my time playing the violin during my school years. I had some nightmares lately about it, always starting with Richard Armitage images playing the cello. That is the reason, why I mention it here and perhaps, because it might help me to overcome this memory.
I loved to play the violin. It was the second, or better, the third instrument I learned. I started with flute before even being able to read. Learned the piano for years and even wanted to study music once, when I grew up.
So it was recommended, to learn a further instrument.
In my childhood, I had adored my father playing the violin. When he played, the violin lived and sounded with joy. So this instrument was my choice.
My father even bought me a cheap starting violin, where I could easily make my first learning steps.
After a while, when I grew better, he gave me his violin.
What a honour that was for me - his loved and cherished violin.
The only thing, he had from his early childhood years before the war. He had gotten it back years after the war, as a relative hid it with her belongings, when my grandmother and my father had to leave their home and had lost everything they had except the clothes they wore.
What a cherished instrument, my father got it from his admired violin teacher, who had wanted him to become a violinist before all the upheaval of the late war years. He had brought him this violin from a well known and esteemed violin maker in Brünn (Brno).
Now, why did I stop, when I loved to play, loved the instrument, the sound, the feel of it?
I now always have tears in my eyes, when I think about this instrument and it makes it hard for me to enjoy it.
I still have the violin, cherish it, for what it is, but I always must think about the following story of treachery and hatefully greedy behaviour.
I played in the school orchestra and had lessons at school with various teachers, as music teachers changed quite a lot during my time at school. I hardly had one longer than one year, mostly changing teacher even between the school years.
One teacher I had for a longer period of time, offered to send all violins of her pupils to a violin maker to repair and optimally care for them. She also recommended mine to be sent in. I hesitated and resisted very long and expressed that this was an especially precious violin to me. If anything should happen, I would make her responsible and can remember, that I made quite a fuss about this otherwise quite normal circumstance. I must have had a sixth sense back then.
When the violin returned, the 'steg' to set the heights of the violin strings, was lowered, which altered the whole feeling of the violin. The string holder had a knack, which some years later I had to replace completely because of that.
But the most important and for me absolutely devastating thing was, that the paper seal, the violin maker had placed inside the violin, had been forcefully removed.
I did not recognize the loss right away, but when I found out two weeks later and requested the name of the violin maker, my teacher refused to tell me and said, the seal must have been weak and have fallen out on its own.
That was not the case as there are even the marks of the forceful removal visible inside the violin.
My father was lovely and tried to console me. He said, it would not alter the violin or what it meant to him. But for me it was, as if I had let him down and had not been able to defend his memory.
Now I always think about this, when I take the violin up and have tears in my eyes.
The only good thing about these nightmares is, that they start with Richard Armitage playing the cello. That really would be something I would like to see in real life. I would even accompany him on the piano. (Purely selfless suggestion ;o)