thinking about good performances

Yo-Yo Ma was in my mind, yesterday during my musical work. Christian Lane wrote a pretty good article in the April issue of “The American Organist” (“Yo-yo Ma and Performance”). Unfortunately I can’t find it online to link in. The gist of it was to use a recent concert he attended which Ma played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Lane dissects Ma’s ability to take the orchestra and the listeners into the musical phrase despite his own celebrity. He even points out how Ma transcends this obstacle by eye contact with the rest of the players and exhibiting an authentic love of what he is doing as he does it.

A very good reminder for me, since despite my own musical inadequacies (Ma is a musical genius… there is no doubt in my mind), one thing I do attempt is to connect to others through music and help them connect between themselves as humans doing something beautiful and authentic and/or perceiving same.

I think I managed to do a little bit of that throughout Holy Week.

Yesterday, I included some slow playing of the final pages of the Widor in my own personal pregame prep. I also photocopied them and made them a bit larger than the score I used Sat night (which one parishioner pointed out was amazingly small and at the same time offering to page turn for me next time).

It was fun to have an accompanist for the choral anthem. For each choral performance this week I was very conscious of attempting to get a decent sound from my singers. I think I managed to help them do a good job on the anthem yesterday.

Somehow at the end of the service, despite my age and exhaustion, I managed a creditable performance of the Widor. I did think of Ma as I played. He is definitely an inspiration.

Now I’m looking forward to the end of the ballet classes and eventually finding some time off from my silly schedule.


The Mystery of the Flying Laptop –

What exactly is the different security risks of the many devices people use and travel with? It’s not clear.


5 Face Trial After Chinese Teenager Sells Kidney –

This is a heart breaking, weird story. The teen sold his kidney to buy an Ipad and an Iphone.


Why the Old-School Music Snob Is the Least Cool Kid on Twitter –

I have this bookmarked to read.


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