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There is a scene in the movie Impromptu (1991) where Frederic Chopin is
sitting at his piano working hard at one of this compositions — the Ballade
No. 1 in G minor. Not turning out as he had wanted at one point he stops,
frustrated. Suddenly, a woman pops out from below his piano. It is George
Sand, who unknown to Chopin had been hiding underneath the piano,
listening to him play. Needless to say he is shocked.

"Oh monsieur Chopin, do not not stop!" she says to him. "You are in the
middle of a miracle…and I am not yet cured!"

A great scene. A great line.

The other day I pulled a screen shot of Valentina Lisitsa off of one of her
interview videos. I took it into Photoshop and worked with it a bit. Then,
a sudden fancy, I decided to make it the desktop photo on my laptop. Well
normally I make my desktop photos a small size, sitting in the middle of an
otherwise black screen. But this time since I was in a hurry I right-clicked
on the photo and selected Set As Desktop Photo from the list.

Imagine my surprise when the photo of Valentina ended up stretched across
my entire large screen — and life size! Well I was shocked. But I decided to
keep it that way.

I'm now not sure if it was a good idea or not. Every morning when I boot the
computer all of a sudden there she is, Valentina, almost as if I could reach
out and touch her. And of course the initial shock is quickly followed by this
deep, long ache.

Valentina's career has so powerfully taken off in the past year or so —
a power generated by her hands on the Big Bosendorfer 290. Her complete
set of the concertos of Rachmaninov now being out on Decca, next month will
see the issue of her long-awaited Liszt project album.

She is in the middle of a miracle — and I am not yet cured!

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