He was born to play the ivory keys. His mother was a classical pianist and when he was an infant crying – she would put him in his playpen and play Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and of course, Mozart. His mother, Bertha, was born in Hungary in 1924. Trained in the National Hungarian Royal Franz Liszt Academy from the age of 10 years old, she was labeled a “prodigy.” At the age of 14, now labeled as a “Jew,” she boarded a Ship to New York City to escape the growing anti-semitism and the pro-Nazi atmosphere.
In 1951 she married George Krazinski, and a year later gave birth to Jonathan. While she was pregnant she would be tickling the ivories to relax her nerves and to ease her anxiety. She yearned for her parents to be there with her but they were killed along with another half a million or so Jews. He brothers and sisters had joined her on the voyage but they had settled in different parts of America. She would play Frank Liszt’s Annees de pelerinage (years of pilgrimage) which would remind her of being back with her family, all together, alive and happy. She would play Mozart’s piano concertos number 9 through 27 and began to play some American standards especially “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.
One evening as Bertha and George were cleaning up in the kitchen, they heard the sound of a piano being played. They walked in to find Jonathan playing what sounded like “It had to be you.” The notes were on and off as his fingers either hit too hard or too soft – but the tune was there.
At the age of six he was able to play the full “Rhapsody in Blue” and did so for his family and neighbors. One day a cousin of one of those neighbors was visiting when he saw for himself the prodigy at work.
When he was 10 years old his mother gave birth to the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
He stood by her crib and watched as Rebecca yawned. She was asleep but yawned none the less. She was beautiful. She was wearing pajamas and she was wrapped by a thin blanket. Her skin was light but she had some red patches scattered – nothing major, nothing that would last and certainly nothing that would take away her loveliness. He sat on the rocking chair where his mother would feed her and he just listened to her breathing. He closed his eyes…He woke up when he heard her crying really loud. He stood to see her and at the same time his mother came in and was startled.
“Hi, why are you awake?” She asked him as she picked up baby Rebecca.
“I was just watching over her; mommy she is so beautiful…” He began to sob.
“Whats wrong Johnny? Come here.” She held him with her free arm. “Whats wrong?”
“I just feel as if I love her so much that I am afraid it might hurt me.”
“Oh Johnny that is called love and love can never hurt anyone.”
“I am going to write a piece for her and I am going to call it ‘Rebecca Love.'”
His mother smiled and said, “That sounds wonderful now go to your bed and sleep, you have school tomorrow.”
“Good night Mom, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
This love was multiplied two years later when his mother gave birth to Rita who was just as beautiful as Rebecca.
On his 16th birthday he met his second cousin Judy, who was 18 and in town from Miami. They had sat together at the dining room table and began to swap information.
She was a freshman at Florida State and was interested in Psychology as a major. She was also very pretty and had that college sexiness that only a college girl can possess.
“I love The Beatles but especially John. He is the heart of the band – Sgt. Pepper is my favorite album ever – I must have listened to it 500 times.”
“That is a great album – I am more of a Dylan fan – “Blonde on Blonde?”
“He’s amazing – a friend of mine said she saw him wandering around somewhere in Upstate New York, just like a regular person. She said ‘Hello’ he just waved and kept walking.”
“That is really groovy – I don’t know what I would say to him. What do you like doing?”
“I love to read poetry and to get high.” She looked at him, touched his hair and said. “Do you want to go for a walk?”
They went walking around the corner, she took out a joint and lit up. She passed it to him but he declined, “I need to keep clean, thank you. I would like to kiss you though.”
She took a step back and said, “We are cousins Jonathan Krazinski. How can even imagine I would want to kiss you?”
Taken aback he didn’t know how to respond, “I was kidding, I was just-” She put her lips against his, softly licking his lip and then smiling with a half-laugh.”
“Is there a place we can go?” She spoke softly into his ear with her arms wrapped around his neck.”
“Yes.” He took her hand and led her to the basement entrance of his house. It was dark and cool down there but no one would be coming down.
After they were spent they cleaned up and made their way outside and back around to the front entrance.
“Where were you guys? We have a special dessert for the birthday boy.” His mother said.
Judy tapped him on his back and whispered, “I thought we already had dessert – I love seconds.”
“But not in front of the family, Judy.” He responded with a sly smile.
It would be two years later when he heard that she had married an accountant who was an orthodox Jew. She apparently had “seen the light” and adapted to the Orthodox lifestyle. But she was his first and often wondered if she remembered that afternoon and the birthday present they shared.
By the age of 18, Jonathan was an award winning composer, performer and conductor. His concertos #1 and #2; written for and inspired by Rebecca and Rita. He was six feet tall, he had brown eyes and light skin. His hair was straight light brown and he had grown it shoulder length. He was a good looking man, talented; oh beyond talented. He could play back any song after hearing it just once. He could write, he could conduct and he had a presence about him whenever he walked into a room, an auditorium, a concert hall or just about anywhere.
But there was always something missing.