Edition of 1714 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs. 18 dedication copies are signed.

No progressives.

January 4, 2003

7 colors 17-3/8 x 24

Client: The Crowden School, 1475 Rose Berkeley CA 94703 (510) 559-6910

Models: Crowden School students

1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press

Artist's Proofs: Saint Hieronymus Press Dedication copies: Martin Balter, Sara Webster

All four of my sisters took piano, and, one after the other, they plunked their way through the same sheet music. Morning and afternoon was embellished with piano practice, starting with scales and "The Happy Peasant," or, "Bavarian Clog Dance," and for the more advanced, Beethoven's "Für Elise." I doubt that my parents intended for any of their daughters to become concert pianists, nor were they terribly concerned that the level of expertise remained modest. Learning to play the piano was simply one of the graces that girls were expected to acquire, along with sewing a fine seam, and baking a cherry pie.

I'm sure that I heard "Für Elise" a thousand times, not one of which made it all the way through without a mistake. A testimony to a truly great piece of music is that it can endure and indeed triumph over endless sincere, if inexpert, repetition. Whenever I hear it now my heart warms and sweet memories of listening to my little sisters (because whenever I hear it my sisters are all still little girls in short dresses and Mary Jane's) earnestly, patiently, banging their way toward getting it right, just this once. It all comes back with the smell of cooking and a house full of love and children, and we are all together again just for a little while, as long as it takes to play "Für Elise."