When Chopin's Opus 10 #3 played on the radio, I took it as a personal invitation from the universe to leave my taxes for yet another day.
(Sorry, if prefaced with some jarring ad or another):
I didn't know this was Cliburn at first. As you see, we're missing his great presence on the video. By the time Cliburn recorded Chopin, he had stopped playing in public. Eventually he stopped playing in studio, eventually he stopped playing at all.
Cliburn started big, as big as a New York Ticker Tape parade, bigger, for a moment, than the whole Cold War. And that was the problem. Critics who made a living living off of him, found they'd spent all their superlatives. And they got paid by the word.
So what was left but to bring out the other half of their vocabulary. That Cliburn's Beethoven couldn't part the Red Sea or turn water into wine. How disappointing the Schubert. And a few years later, they said, maybe the great Cliburn isn't great after all; maybe he just had one exceptionally good day in 1958, Moscow.
Cliburn left the stage and studio for the next twenty years, though close personal friends say he still played every day, for himself.
On his last tour, this century, a comeback, he collapsed on stage. Paralyzing stage fright, according to some reports, as this probably made better copy than cancer.
As for Chopin, Chopin said of this piece which he wrote in his early 20's, "I don't think I'll ever find such a beautiful melody again."
That's the thing with artists -- they have to go find things; even when it's dark and they're all alone. Find what they're looking for and then find a way back again. There's no help for them, really. No one knows where they've gone. And until and unless they come back, no one knows where they've been.