a talk with leon fleisher

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“There was a great Hungarian violinist, Sándor Végh, who became a conductor after he left the Végh Quartet. He said, ‘It’s not too difficult to find a string player who really sings on his instrument, but it’s very rare to find a string player who speaks on his instrument,’ and I think that’s a profound distinction. Speaking involves inflection, it involves an understanding of the language. Too many young people today play their instruments most wonderfully – they have such command of their instrument – but it’s as though they’re speaking a foreign language, phonetically. They pronounce all the words, but they have no idea of what they’re saying. And I think that’s one of the big differences between the great artists of the time and this level of expertise that is constantly expanding and rising.”

Read the full interview here.

to dma or not to dma? (#3)

Source: PHD Comics

To DMA or not to DMA? In response to my own uncertainties about the future after I finish up my master’s, I wanted to start a series where I ask my older, wiser, cooler friends about their experiences with and opinions on the DMA. And then publish these responses in hopes that they will help others asking the same question. To read previous installments, click here!

This week’s installment is contributed by my good friend Tom Lee:

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danse macabre

Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, here’s a fun little piece that captures the spirit of October 31 festivities:

Saint-Saens’ Danse macabre is a tone poem that brings to life an ancient legend in which Death comes out at midnight on Halloween and summons the dead with his fiddle, invoking a riotous ball of the most macabre proportions as these skeletons dance on their own graves till dawn, when they must be banished to the underworld again for another year. The harp strikes twelve midnight. The fiddle screeches in with a devilish tritone. Bones rattle like xylophones as the skeletons’ crazed waltz commences.