When Time Takes Time

A child opens the score of one of the great musical 
masterpieces, the Sonata quasi una fantasia op 27/II 
composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in the year 1801 – 
known to every music lover as the Mondschein or 
Moonlight Sonata. The young boy tries to make his 
fingers play the correct notes.

Sabine and myself have had this experience totally
independently from one another. We have listened to a 
child from across the garden of our home, who has tried 
to coordinate his left and his right hand in order to make 
some kind of sense of Beethoven’s masterpiece. We have 
heard the nervous, insecure, trembling fingers trying to 
do justice to the score and to the child’s state of being.

The result was an incredibly moving mix of a great wish 
to accomplish something, which was beyond the child’s 
reach, the burning desire to reach it, and yet the vul-
nerable, desperate, and helpless attempt to master it.

From the moment we have experienced this child’s desire 
to accomplish the impossible, we have realized what a 
great symbol it is of our own desires, insecurities, and
our constant reaching for ideals, which may never be in 
our possession.


So we have decided to use this – sometimes wonderful, 
sometimes hopeless – attempt of a young child to play 
one of the world’s greatest compositions, as a symbol 
of our own desire to understand, interpret the most 
challenging game of all -  called ‘life’.
Alas – not even the best education can prepare us for the
surprises life will throw in our path. Sabine and myself live 
our lives stumbling, failing, looking up to the great ideals, 
and occasionally reaching some glimpses of enlightenment – 
just as this child stretching his fingers beyond limits. These 
moments, which might last only instants, are accompanied 
by years of searching, belief, doubts, joy and frustration. 
But as long as we feel that there might be this incredible 
moment of ‘discovery’, we shall always be ready to go 
through whatever it takes to experience again such a 
precious moment and share it with our closest friends….

Jiří Kylián Den Haag 25 August 2002