Beethoven :: Sonata Opus 2 n°1 in F Minor
And so I got that telephone call. Landcode: ∞ .
What the hell... but immediately my telephone changed its ring tone, completely by itself, as if the word "hell" made it furious. As if devices can get furious.
I admit that I was a bit reluctant to answer that call. "Just wait", did I think, "it'll pass".
But it didn't. It kept calling, for minutes. After a minute of five, I decided to answer.
'Hello. WITH an 'o'. Never use that other word again, will you?'
'Ok. But to whom am I speaking?'
The low toned voice kept silent for a minute. I remember there was quite a bit of noise to hear. Clearly an analogue connection. No dolby.
Than the answer came, and, strange enough, not as a surprise.
'O, mister Beethoven, what an honour to get a phonecall from you.'
'You deserved it.'
'Not in that way. I am quite angry.'
'And for what, if I may ask?'
'Not for something, on you.'
Now I started to shake. O my God, what had I done? Playing all his works completely wrong... I had to know. Beethoven didn't wait for my response.
'Explain to me why you have that big clavichord at your disposal and not yet one single sonata of me has left that keyboard.'
'How did you know...?'
'That you have the instrument of Joris Potvlieghe at home? And yours is at Potvlieghes workshop?'
He laughed. I could smell a part of that strange, maybe even difficult character of his, of which many biographies speak. He really must have pissed off many of his contemporaries. But yes, today, he IS Beethoven, more than at his time. And so I kept silent.
'You live with all limitations of dimension and time, my friend.'
His voice was much more friendly. I felt relaxed even.
'Here, we know everything. I mean eve-ry-thing.'
He indeed sounded very proud of that particular gift that he must have received while crossing the unknown border at the end of his life.
'You want to know what president Obama is doing at this moment? Or even thinking? I know. Or the Fifa president Blatter is telephoning to, right know as we speak? Simple. Or the winning lottery numbers of next week?'
He paused a few seconds, and then burst into laughter.
'Haha, that I'm not supposed to tell you, and honestly, I even don't know. It must happen first, or happen as we speak. And than we know. All at the same time, all at once, all eternal. That's the landcode symbol, but undoubtedly you immediately knew.'
He paused again, one second.
'No you didn't, I see.'
I didn't know what to say, but there was no need to say something.
'I would like you to play my first sonata.'
'Really? How do you mean? You think I'm calling you to say something I don't mean?'
'And could you give me some opinions about tempi, and other aspects of interpretation?'
'And why not?'
'To keep it interesting. Imagine I would have written a book about how to play my music. Or, that I could have made recordings. You all would play the same.'
'That might be so, indeed. May I ask, would we then all be playing this sonata on clavichord?'
I didn't see his face, but I felt he smiled.
'That I don't reply on. Just play it.'
Suddenly the conversation was over. And strange, there was no telephone anywhere to be seen. On the place where it stood, never was one. I even wondered why that telephone had such a familiar look. But suddenly I knew. It was the old telephone that we had at home until my fourth or fifth year. It was there, in my memory. In time.
And so I played this sonata. What else could I do?