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Header: Jess Anderson in Madison Wisconsin
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My First Piano Recital
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The program was:

J. S. Bach:Fantasia in C Minor, BWV 906
J. S. Bach:Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I, Prelude & Fugue in C Minor
Beethoven:Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3
Chopin:Prelude in B-Flat Major, Op. 28, No. 21
Chopin:Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 28, No. 10
Chopin:Valse in E Minor
Liszt:Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major
(with my teacher as orchestra on a second piano)

It was a sticky, 95-degree July day in 1953, long before there was air-conditioning in homes. My only suit was winter-weight wool.

The day before the concert, I had fallen asleep for several hours in a canoe in the middle of a lake and was very sunburned. You can imagine what the rough wool trousers and the starched white collar felt like against my red-hot skin, which incidentally was destined to start peeling off in sheets a week later as I lay in traction in a hospital bed, having fallen in the bathtub and broken my neck. (It was an eventful time, what can I say?)

During a thundering double-octave passage in the Liszt, the skin under both thumbnails split open, and by the end of the program the keyboard was covered with blood. Well, I was especially good at thundering, and it was Romantic music, after all!

Isn't that what youth is for?!

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