The Corner


The Will to Practice

Last week, I was listening to Vladimir Kara-Murza, the Russian democracy leader. (Twice poisoned, near fatally, twice surviving.) He was saying that, though elections are rigged in Russia, some democrats are still running, or trying to run, even though they risk harassment by the authorities and much worse. Why are they doing this?

Kara-Murza mentioned Rudolf Kehrer, a Soviet-era pianist, who spent 13 years in internal exile. Forbidden a piano, he made a pretend keyboard out of a plank of wood, so that “his fingers wouldn’t forget,” as Kara-Murza put it.

That’s what the democrats are doing, said Kara-Murza: practicing for the real thing.

I mention this in my Impromptus today (which is the usual smorgasbord — maybe more smorgasbordy than usual). Here on the Corner, I thought I would link to a video of Kehrer, playing in 1978. It is the Rachmaninoff C-minor concerto. Here.

Remarkable man.

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