Monday, October 29, 2007

Absorbing Great Music

Remember the most recent music that grabbed your attention and wouldn't let go for days? Was it Mahler, Strauss, a Mozart opera, or Phantom of the Opera? Everyone has his own top ten list. James Levine warned us as students before an all-star cast performance of Don Carlo, that it would be a long time before show highs would subside, if ever. He said, "Enjoy this. You'll be walking on air for days." He was right. Hearing those arias to this day still pierce like a knife. Music does that, probably better than anything else.

I can still hear Mel Broiles demonstrating Caffarelli etude #66 transposed to D trumpet, boldly echoing all over Lincoln Center from an open window at the Met. Our brains archive thousands of files of great playing. How is your library? I wonder if there are more instances of great music happening every day than we realize. Be alert for them, and file them safely. You'll be needing to recall them often.

Yesterday the majestic strains of Fanfare for the Common Man could be heard echoing down the corridors at CCM. Today I paused to hear a performance of a Brahms Violin Sonata filling the Atrium. Last week a Charlier etude was being practiced for all it is worth while overlooking Lake Michigan. Five trumpets could be heard being coached through The Rite of Spring by Charlie Geyer. Next door the Rhapsodie Espagnol trumpet section was being rehearsed by Chris Martin. So much to hear, so little time!

Great music has its way of adhering itself both to listeners and performers. Extra special musical moments always leave lasting impressions. Seek them out. They are there waiting to be discovered and to be shared. Audiences love when that happens.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Thank you for writing this wonderful reminder about how one should take the time to listen, not only play.