Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Words and Music

Music is not a thing. It is physical because it is captured by one of our senses, but it is not something you can reach out and touch. Perhaps it is like the wind, it is there and you can feel it but you cannot see it. It is another type of language, but one which everyone can understand. A very special means of communication. Words can never tell you what a piece of music sounds like - never. If I say that a piece is powerful, rhythmic, expressive, energetic, forceful, explosive, inpired, has perfect form and logic, soulful, sexy, emotional, touching, gentle, suave, exquisite, etc., have I made you hear the piece by means of words? Those terms can be applied to thousands of different pieces of music. However, I might be able to use words to tell you that a piece of music fails to communicate anything worth listening to more than once or that it's a great piece of music - to critique it, that is. But I can go no further. We are priviledged to have it at our disposal.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pamela Frank

Pamela Frank is an American violinist and teacher born on June 20, 1967. She studied early on with Shirley Givens. Her debut came in 1985 at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra. She was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1999. The only standard concertos she has recorded are the Bruch, the Mozart (all five), and the Dvorak. After suffering some sort of nerve injury to her hand (I know not which one) from an acupuncture treatment in 2001, she has devoted most of her time to teaching and chamber music playing. She is on the faculties of the Peabody Institute, Curtis Institute, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.