Live Instruments

Fr. Jose Kaimlett

Live Instruments

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was an Austrian-born violinist and composer. One of the most famous violinists of his day, he was known for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing.

Kreisler once came across a beautiful instrument in a shop but could not afford to purchase it. When he finally raised enough money for the violin, he returned to the shop but was told that it had been sold to a collector. He went to the new owner’s home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. The collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go.

The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked him a favour. “May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment.

“I have no right to keep that to myself,” he said after the musician finished. “The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.”


Likewise each one of us is unique in our own way, with unique qualities. They, like Kreisler’s violin, are not meant to be preserved unused. To clarify the point, Christ used the parable of a lamp and said, ‘light the lamp and put it on a lamp stand.’ Let your ‘light’ shine; don’t put it under a bushel.

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