As the sweet notes of Molly’s final cello recital filled Harper Hall yesterday, I leaned back in my familiar chair (aisle seat, audience left, midway up) and thought, as I had so many times in Molly’s musical career, “What a lovely tune. I’ve never heard it before.”
Like her siblings before her, Molly enjoyed playing, though not necessarily practicing, her instruments. Often, I showed up at solo ensemble competitions curious about what piece I would hear.
She once played an entire ensemble piece without a rock stop, trapping the instrument between her knees and hunching over its neck to keep it from sliding across the floor.
“I thought there’d be carpeting,” she’d shrugged.
While her laissez fair attitude confounded her teachers, it also allowed her to enjoy her musical journey. Molly rarely stressed out about performances or tests and, because she often found herself forced to do it, she became a very adept sight reader.
I once mentioned that she might like to take a piece apart, and practice each section until she played it perfectly. She seemed to consider my point carefully for a moment, but then she shook her head.
“The thing is,” she said. “I’m a human being and human beings really aren’t capable of perfection.”
Still, when her bow connected with those strings and sent that lovely, lovely cello sound through our house, I stopped whatever I was doing and listened.
I will treasure for the rest of my life the day she played her cello in the woods and coaxed a wild turkey into a duet.
We have one more concert before Molly and her cello part ways and I’m really going to miss that sweet, somewhat stubborn instrument with the long neck and the mellow sound.
I’m going to miss her cello too.