Thumb arthroplasty with ligament reconstruction tendon interposition with the flexor carpi radialis is something you never want to hear. You will however, hear about it if your thumb has become so overwhelmed with arthritis you are no long able to use it. A little over 3 years ago I began my journey through this procedure with both of my hands; first my left in the spring of 2013 and my right hand at the end of 2015. Both surgeries were full of complications and setbacks. The first required nearly two weeks of hospitalization and a month of infusion therapy to rid myself of a severe infection. The second has resulted in Dupuytren’s Contracture in a couple of places in the palm of my right hand.

However, thanks to the ministrations of Dr. David Toulipan, the Occupational Therapists at DuPage Medical in Downers Grove, the nurses on the 51st ward of Good Samaritan Hospital, the patience of my wife, Diane, and prayers of hundreds, and the grace of God, I am well on my way to recovery.

Charles Alkan wrote this set of three Etudes fairly early in his career (earlier than the Op 76 would imply). The first was for the left hand, the second for the right hand, and the finale is titled: Hands Reunited. While highly pianistic, these pieces are unrelenting in their demands for technical control. The first two require control of loud and soft, fast and slow, and voicing, all within the confines of one hand.

The Right Hand Etude will be recorded this fall and I hope to have the third etude recorded by the end of the year.