Watch: Terror, talent and the wrong Mozart concerto

February 20, 2014
Photo: Maria Joao Pires tackles a surprise Mozart concerto
Pianist Maria Joao Pires has a moment of doubt.

It opens with conductor Riccardo Chailly explaining why he programmed Mozart and Mahler in concert. Cut to the performance with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

The moment pianist Maria Joao Pires appears on camera, you know something is terribly wrong. The orchestra has begun and she realizes this is not the concerto she is prepared to play.

Watch how the maestro smiles and encourages her to attempt it anyway. What follows is a world class musician going through the five stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance -- in about 60 seconds. In front of a live audience.

Remarkably, from memory, she pulls it off without missing a note. I've never seen anything quite like it. Inspirational. 

Richard Ray hosts from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays on CPR Classical.

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