To my very dear Mr. Beethoven…

Walking in a blaze of sunset along the curl of sand to very-most tip of Denmark (where the north sea meets the baltic) filled me with those first radiant bars of your opus 11o.

I felt such waves of gratitude to have come this far.

You must know that you have touched some special people along the way. The sensitive Polish fitter who exclaimed of opus 109, “this is very beautiful, very complex”: the little girl who danced and understood every shift of mood and fun in the 109 variations: the tired kiosk attendant in a beach cafe for whom the first movemnt and last variation of 109 and the beauty of 110, was a healing and restful moment in her long hard days. I have not yet found the moment or the courage for 111.

The goodwill of all the surprised little elderly pianos who have opened up new perspectives in your mighty landscapes, which have had to be scaled down to meet their limitations with grace… not unlike the early fortepianos of 1810… I have been listening to you very carefully in those moments. I hope you would have been as delighted as I.

I carry you with me, phrases, whole movements, thoughts of your temperament, courage, tenderness and generosity as I pedal along. I like to imagine that I can share with you  the beauty of the the ‘wood rocks and trees’ as well as the fluctuations in my own moods, and those of the dear people I meet.

I have described the idea of the inner and outer journeys that your music has inspired me to take with many people now. It doesn’t take much, and it has surprised me how ready and interested people are to hear what I want to say.

I hold you very close in my heart and I am honoured to be your friend and to have you as such an inspirational companion.

I am yours, sincerely, Mrs. Quick.

(Ps I have just spotted a grand piano in a fashionable shop in Skagen… perhaps I will invite us in, especially as I am wearing my ISM T-shirt today)

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