Friday, April 27, 2007

Think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound...

I am a complete and utter ignoramus when it comes to classical music. Unlike our friend Charlie Stella, I couldn't tell Shostakovich from Rostropovich, the cellist who joined the choir invisible yesterday at age 80. That's him up there giving what the Times called, "an impromptu concert at Checkpoint Charlie after the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989."

Very cool.

The reason I bring him up at all is because I love that picture and can only imagine the sheer joy the moment and the music gave him and how those gathered around him were witnesses to the man's irrepressible celebration.

And while it's true that classical music in our house is more Sonny Boy than Saint-Saƫens, I know that in times of darkness and uncertainty, I can always find solace in music. It's the one thing that's never let me down.

That's why I love that picture.

We often speak of the music we listen to when we write, and music we quote in prose. When I was an actor, I landed the role of an Eastern European Jew. I went to the local Rabbi to get lessons in the accent because, as always, I wanted to get it right. The Rabbi took one look at the script and said, "David, I don't see the problem. The melody is written right into the words."

Ah, music is everywhere and we would indeed be a sad and low species without it.

Mstislav Rostropovich, RIP. You can read more about this remarkable man here.

Now, I need to go put on some Coltrane.


Anonymous said...

Dave, Dave, Dave ... you already know I'm an ignoramus about politics ... but it just so happens I have two incredible Shostakovich pieces on my Ipod (violin concerto No. 1, written for David Oistrakh/performed by Oistrakh) and cello concerto No. 1, written for and dedicated to Rostropovich/performed by Rostropovich) ... both are hauntingly beautiful.

My wife and I attended a performance of the violin concerto a few weeks ago at the Philharmonic by a super violin virtuoso (who also happens to be gorgeous) Lisa Batiashvili.

Your quote ..."and can only imagine the sheer joy the moment and the music gave him and how those gathered around him were witnesses to the man's irrepressible celebration."

I get goosebumps every time I read a reaction like that to pretty much any kind of music (but especially masters like Shostakovich, Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.) ... it restores my faith in the human spirit.

You're alright by me, Dave.

And this is the first blogging commentary I've made in months ...

David Terrenoire said...

Charlie 3X,

You know you're welcome here any time. And I'm going to take your example and find that cello concerto. I love the cello, but am too ignorant to know what to buy.


Anonymous said...

Here's the one you want (copy and paste) above.

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