Henri Adelphos Pipes was born in Adelphi, Greece. He was a violinist with the city orchestra. His instrument was a Stradivarius violin that had been willed to him by his Uncle Nicanor, who had purchased it from the man himself. Henri married Henrietta Poulos when they were young; they had no children.
Henri and Hettie (his name for her) both grew up in Adelphi, their childhoods were not out of the ordinary and both came from families of privilege. Schooled in the classics in every area, they were ideal mates.
Though they were of the privileged class and their lives were quite ordinary, there was an incident that forever changed and challenged them. I wish I had the time to tell you their whole story from beginning to end, but time and other considerations do not permit. I will, however, share that portion which brought them great loss.
I heard this story from a friend who is related to the man who today posseses Henri’s Stradivarius.
Henri was the first chair violin in the Adelphi orchestra, he never let his beloved Stradivarius out of his sight, for it complimented his ability in ways no ordinary instrument would. Maestro Vargas appreciated Henri’s ability, more than anyone else in the orchestra, and he often yielded the baton to Henri.
War descended upon Europe and every one was affected by it. The concerts were not as well attended as during peace time, but the city had decided to continue them to keep the morale of the people up.
One evening during the war years, when the orchestra was in concert, but before the concert had begun, the city’s warning sirens went off and the house lights were shut down. Though the people had been warned of the possibility, there was bedlam and fear filled the Hall. In the confusion, Henri’s worst nightmare took place, his precious violin was stolen.
Henri was devastated, as you can imagine. Though a thorough search was made to find the Stradivarius, it was not located and Henri had to purchase a replacement. He bought the best that he could find, but next to Hettie, that violin was the love of his life and he grieved over the loss as he would have his beloved wife.
Henri Pipes and His much loved wife, Hettie, lived out their full lives and went on to their reward, never knowing what happened to his Stradavarius.
Here is the rest of the story:
In the audience the night of the concert was a young man from Hungary. He had found an old tattered and worn violin in a building he was helping to clean, and he had taught himself how to play it. He knew about Henri’s Stradivarius and he wished he could have it, or at least one like it. He had planned and saved for a long time to be able to come to hear Henri play that night.
He loved that Stradivarius to the point of being covetous, so when the lights went out in Orchestra Hall, he saw his chance. He sprinted onto the stage, groping his way behind the curtain he felt a violin case, he grabbed it and headed for what appeared to be an exit.
When he got to a safe place he opened the case to find that it was Henri’s Stradivarius. He could not believe his luck. As you may know, the Hungarian culture is rich with the influence of a people group called Gypsies. Their fiery music and dance is among the most rich in the world.
Henri’s Stradivarius was used for many years, giving pleasure to countless numbers of people. The Stradivarius was passed down the generations and eventually found its way into hands of someone you may have heard of…his initials are JB.
Now you know the rest of the story.
PS: You know, of course, that I made this story up, but wouldn’t it be fun if it were true?
I wish you a God blessed day, and I hope you will find your way to wonderful music, beautiful sunsets and awesome sights, but most of all I wish the you the love of God revealed in Jesus, which absolutely surpasses everything. Really!