Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Run, not walk

I once heard a storied Juilliard violin teacher say he would "run, not walk" to hear Mark Steinberg play the violin. I love this idea, and I would, too. Run, that is, or, more likely, take a cab . . .

My own "Run, not walk" list of violinists also includes Jennifer Frautschi, Vera Beths, and Colin Jacobsen.

And now I am adding one more (I guess I'm going to be running a lot . . . ), Johnny Gandelsman. When I first played with The Knights last May, Johnny was leading Beethoven 6 and I was swept away by his playing. For Johnny, every expressive device available to the violinist was in play at all times, and every musical moment was infused with imagination. I didn't want to miss a beat, a gesture, I even wanted to hear him play the rests! One of the highlights of The Knight's current program is a waltz by Ljova where Colin and Johnny trade off long lilting phrases. Heaven!

When one of these five musicians plays, I certainly would run—not walk—to be there. (And the fun of Helicon is that they all are on the roster!)

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