Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dying in the Saddle

from the wikipedia article on Louis Vierne:

Vierne suffered a heart attack while giving his 1750th organ recital at Notre-Dame de Paris on the evening of June 2, 1937. He had completed the main concert, which members of the audience said showed him at his full powers - "as well as he has ever played." After the main concert, the closing section was to be two improvisations on submitted themes. He read the first theme in Braille, then selected the stops he would use for the improvisation. He suddenly leaned forward, clutching his chest, and fell off the bench as he hit the low "E" pedal of the organ. He lost consciousness as the single note echoed throughout the church. He had thus fulfilled his oft-stated lifelong dream - to die at the console of the great organ of Notre-Dame.

I've fantasized about two modes of death: one rather like the above, but peacefully in my sleep, the completed but not-yet-fully orchestrated manuscript of my own Requiem Mass slowly spilling off my night table; the other more akin to the death of Nelson Rockefeller.  

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