An elderly woman from Russia went viral last year after a cell phone video caught her street-side performance on the piano.
With a bent back and her hair in a bun, the tiny pianist gave a rousing performance of Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.” She looks like the last person who would be able to play with such delicate skill and energy. But she really was that good — so good that some people said she may have once been a concert pianist.
The woman seemed totally relaxed as she played, calmly watching the crowd that was gathering around her and pulling out their phones.
She was completely unflustered by the difficult piano piece or by the dozens of people who stopped to watch.
The piano had clearly been sitting out in the street for some time. Its pedal squeaked incessantly as the woman played, and it was badly in need of a tune. But that didn’t diminish the beauty of her performance or the obvious skill with which she played.
When the pianist finished, she accepted the cheers and yells of “Bravo!” with a happy smile and a nod.
Then she took the arm of a friend and they walked off together, the pianist leaning on her cane.
There’s no word on who the pianist was or when and where she learned to play so beautifully, but her impromptu performance touched the hearts of everyone listening. And thanks to the internet, the rest of the world got to witness it as well.
People on YouTube and other social media sites were amazed at her skill.
“Her hands are very well trained, former concert pianist for sure,” wrote one YouTube commenter. “Amazing granny.”
Others felt her skill deserved a better instrument.
Whether or not they were right, the pianist played with all her heart, even though her piano needed some desperate repairs.
“POS piano and not worthy of her musicianship for sure!” wrote another YouTube commenter. “Love that she plays by memory and ignores the shortcomings of this “piano” but has to have assistance to walk away! Sort of like I. j. Paderewski near the end! BRAVO TO HER!!”
What makes it even more amazing is that Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” is a famously difficult piece of music.
Some people have even called it one of the most difficult. Classically-trained pianists can probably argue for hours over the topic, but regardless, there is a consensus that it’s extremely challenging to play.
Franz Liszt was significantly influenced by the stylings of traditional Hungarian folk music, with erratic tempos, wild runs of notes, and high energy.
His Hungarian Rhapsody series is a perfect example of the music style combined with elements of classical piano. The result is beautiful but extremely technically difficult music.
Pianists have to study tirelessly to achieve the skill this tiny, elderly lady displayed. Though we may not know her name, her song choice and performance speak for itself.
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