Friday, December 2, 2016

A Wow! Moment

I have been listening to the energetic Robert Greenberg in his Great Course "Music Fundamentals".  I habitually listen to several dozen pieces of classical music over and over, mostly while working in the kitchen.  By chance, we also got to attend the Point in Time Ancient Music concert recently.  They played music from the 1400's and the next few centuries onward.

It seems to me that maybe old music has more fans among people I know than old art or old literature.  I remember reading about efforts to write signs and warnings about radioactive material which would be understood easily and quickly by people in 1000 or 10000 years.  Several authorities doubted it would work and they cited the difficulty modern English users have with Chaucer's writing from about 700 years ago.

It may say something about the human ear and the human mind and emotions that older music can still matter and be appreciated.

This morning, I played Rossini's overtures and a passage by a violin reminded me of a moment in the late 1970's when I was playing something by an outstanding violinist.  My older daughter had been playing the violin for something like a couple of years.  She came into the kitchen just as the music began with a skilled and strong beginning on the violin.  She paused and just said,"Wow!" as the music reached her.

I was impressed that her intelligence and music awareness allowed her to instantly recognize high quality in the performance.  I think the piece was Paganini's (1782-1840) 24 Variations and I think the violinist was Itzhak Perlman.  I tried to track down the music and the moment but wound up ordering a copy of a CD. It is surprising how a moment like that can stick in memory and inspire a search through our house and online to see what I can recollect of what happened.

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