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June 19, 2004

The Symphony as Fighter Squadron

Fascinating NYT article by a reporter and amateur clarinetist who gets to play with the New York Philharmonic.

. . . As a reporter, I was getting the chance to experience what it felt like to play in a great orchestra, an organism that at its best has the might of a jet engine, the delicacy of an eye-surgeon's laser and the coloristic nuance of a Monet painting.

* * *

. . . I was also struck by how the players invested even the simplest phrases with expressiveness. If Mr. Maazel held a beat here, or pushed forward there, they reacted instantly, like fighter pilots adjusting a wing. It was surprisingly easy to play with them. The solidity of their intonation, rhythm and musicality were like beacons that had only to be followed.

I envy those who get to participate in such an "organism."

June 19, 2004 | Permalink

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