THE PERPETUAL DEATH OF THE COMPOSER BY SIMON KING 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 16
With the fall of communism, Kralitz settled in Germany indefinitely. He set aside chamber pieces to concentrate on full-scale orchestral works. There was a silence of five years; everyone presumed, me included, that he had ceased composing but, no, he was devoting all his energy to the most substantial piece of his entire career.
Although I had always been his closest friend, he had ceased returning my phone calls, which I found alarming. I sent him a lengthy letter detailing my worries, to which he replied shortly and succinctly:
Dear Kryztof, I am not avoiding you out of discourtesy or impudence. My devotion to this new symphony has wrenched me, disabling me from partaking in the most basic activities, even maintaining contact with my most intimate friends has become strenuously difficult. Merely notating this magmatic monster is destroying my physical and mental health, yet I feel that this piece is so promising that... I feel urged to complete it. Regards, Alfred
A few months after I received this letter, Kralitz passed away. He was found with his forehead literally hunched over the keys of his piano, stacks of manuscript paper were scattered all over the floor, and his dead frail hands clenched his adored pen, its ink spilling onto the keys and loose scraps of paper.