Chaconne #23 – West Side Community Garden NYC June 29, 2014

Sunday June 29, 2014 – 6 PM – FREE ADMISSION – West 89th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.  The Chaconne opens this short program…Beethoven’s String Trio in G Major comes next – played with my friends Artie Dibble, Viola, and Lindy Clarke, Cello.

This outdoor concert was blessed with perfect weather and a large, appreciative audience…lots of families with children, and the little ones were getting up and coming to the front of the stage area and dancing away with pure delight…somewhat astonishing for me because their delight and joy was like a second counterpoint to this work of Bach’s and it was challenging to stay plugged into the deep flow of the Work and not “fall out” into the dancing of the children!

I had spent a lot of time in the last week working on purity of intonation as well as stronger rhythmic organization, and I was happy that that work wasn’t wasted…that being said it is humbling that even at this 23rd time, for me,  thorough practice is still an essential component:  there were areas of which I assumed in my practice sessions  “ok, that part’s fine, don’t need to invest time there”,  that would have benefitted from slow, mindful work….sigh….I remember reading Kreisler’s writing about train travel providing him time to review in his mind every tone of  the works he was performing, to sort of, in his words, “re-carve” the grooves on the disc (the vinyl or glass LP recordings of his time)….I will remember that going forward.

 The Beethoven seemed an easy delight to play – in gusty winds that required us to pause and carefully replace the clothespins that held the music onto the stands!!!  Artie and Lindy are, simply put, terrific.


7 thoughts on “Chaconne #23 – West Side Community Garden NYC June 29, 2014”

  1. Shem, thank you for bringing something beautiful into the world. Just Bach, pure and simple, beautifully in tune, lovingly played, allowed to speak for itself.
    We were in a garden, with children dancing, and all sorts of people listening, and really with you and the music. What could be better?

  2. A delightful experience. I was left, being musically illiterate, wondering what the questions were and what the answers in the solo piece. I, too, enjoyed the children, the plants, the appreciative audience, the weather, the music, and late during the second piece, the Proustian fragrance of cooking onions.

  3. Serafima Dashevskaya

    Dear Shem,

    Thank you for inviting us to this concert. We loved your playing Bach very much and the trio was beautiful too. The garden, dancing children, nice audience – everything contributed to the tone of your performance.

    Good luck with your Journey of 100,
    Serafima, Lev, Ilya

  4. Thanks all – Diana, I have been thinking a lot about your comment – especially about questions and answers. If you enjoyed the performance – then that is what matters most. That you were moved to take the extra time and effort to come visit us here and share your reflections says even more.

    This music is so BIG that there is room in it for my deep personal feelings about questions being posed and answered, room for your delight at letting the sounds waft over you while savoring the smell of onions…and room as well for the feelings of a 10 year-old boy at PSK179 (Brooklyn) who heard the work one morning last November (Chaconne performance #18). He wrote me an Essay saying “I felt relaxed, then I saw sparkles and wanted to dance and then I thought of my friend, back home in Bangladesh, and my Soul wanted to fly out and visit him and his Family…”

    Maybe they too, were cooking Onions that morning in Bangladesh on the other side of the World.

    Thanks for writing. Shem

  5. Randa Kirshbaum

    Hi, Shem, I’ve been at all of these Music in a Garden events, and it is a lovely spot of green. But concerts there are a work day for me, to keep things moving and flowing. When you first started playing I heard your authority of control of the violin and the material, and was able to relax, immediately ready to give over to your playing. Then I heard more. I still have a lump in my throat from your rendition of that Partita. You danced every note, intonation was very good, and the humanity… I listened to a recording of Heifetz playing the Chaconne later that evening, and you are the greater human being.

  6. Thank you Shem. Looking back, I now think that silence might have been the more appropriate response to such a celestial experience. Bravo, my friend. Dolph

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