I played my next concert about a month later. This time Anna had chosen all of the pieces, and the programme had been worked out in advance. She'd given me things like violin concertos, things that actually had piano parts and wouldn't have to be made up on the spot. Things that I hadn't written.
I had resisted, at first. "I really don't think this is the time for me to be doing a concert," I told her. "I don't feel up to it." But she snorted at that, and told me I was being ridiculous. I pressed her to see what was so obvious - I wasn't really in the mood. But again she didn't let me.
"Look, Mark,. you have to get back to normality. You've had a shock. Big deal. Get on with life." Sometimes, the talented Russian lady was rather harsh. "This is what you are going to play. Now, let me hear that Bach you were working on..."
**to be continued**