Beethoven with 3 Strings
What do you do when your G string breaks 4 minutes before the end of an all-Beethoven recital? One option is to forge ahead, dealing with three very sharp strings (from the change in tension on the cello) and having to improvise crazy fingerings which avoid the defunct G string. I have broken strings during concerts three times in my life, always when playing Beethoven, but a musician usually stops the show and leaves the stage to put on a new string. I did that in Hiroshima during a trio concert, and many Japanese men followed me offstage asking “Are you okay? Concert going to continue?” I explained that there had been an accident and the concert would resume in a minute. I am grateful that this Beethoven sonata recital was professionally recorded, and I thought afterward that Beethoven would have laughed had he witnessed my efforts. I am very grateful too for the amazing playing of my dear friend and colleague Janet Guggenheim. She suspected that something was up but had no idea that I had broken a string until we finished the concert, as you will see from her priceless expression.