Friday, December 6, 2013

Fw: "Early music lessons may improve brain performance" (22.11.13) article by Ian Sample

This letter appeared in The Guardian Weekly (Dec.6, 2013)
 
Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2013 7:56 PM
Subject: "Early music lessons may improve brain performance" (22.11.13) article by Ian Sample
 

Professor Wang's study on how early music lessons affect a person's professional success or failure in adulthood,  raises some tantalizing questions that require further research. For example, would Einstein, Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann, and Marlene Dietrich have succeeded in their respective fields if they hadn't had violin lessons in childhood?  Would Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and Richard Nixon become presidents of the United States without violin lessons? Moreover, we have the infamous as well as the famous to consider: Dictator Benito Mussolini, Gestapo Chief Reinhardt, and terrorist Ulrike Meinhof---all were amateur violinists.  (I can imagine Il Duce playing second fiddle in an opera orchestra if it hadn't been for his oratory skill, fascist ideology, and ill-fated friendship with Adolf Hitler.)

 Perhaps, in the course of her intriguing research, Ms. Wang will discover that those children who study art, ballet, poetry, chess, or any of the fine arts, will also develop and improve that area of the brain involved in language skills and "executive function," or a person's ability to plan and carry out tasks.

Les Dreyer  (Retired violinist of Met Opera Orchestra)

180 West End Ave. NYC 10023   USA

 

 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

NYTimes.com: Music in the Key of Melancholy

 
Sent by ldreyer@nyc.rr.com:
Letters

Music in the Key of Melancholy

Readers say music should be listened to on its own terms, not analyzed.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fw: NYTimes.com: Scribblings in the Orchestra Pit

 
 
From: ldreyer
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:50 AM
Subject: NYTimes.com: Scribblings in the Orchestra Pit
 
 
Sent by ldreyer@nyc.rr.com:
Letter

Scribblings in the Orchestra Pit

A former violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra responds to an Arts pages article.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fw: The Fastest Pianist in the World, Yuja Wang article Dec.21, 2012

 
 
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:58 AM
Subject: The Fastest Pianist in the World, Yuja Wang article Dec.21, 2012
 

Top of Form

 

 

Guardian Weekly Letters, 11 January 2013

·       Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 8 January 2013 08.59 EST

Bottom of Form

Peak performers

Your article about sports performances that appear superhuman may be suitable for the Guinness Book of Records, but hardly for concert pianists (Performance that is really superhuman, 21 December). Granted, Yuja Wang can play fast, but so what? Hundreds of pianists, past and present, played as fast if not faster than Wang, yet their concert careers fizzled into oblivion. For example, Lubomy Melnyk, a budding concert pianist in the 1970s, was clocked playing 19.5 notes per second by each hand, simultaneously, and the most number of individual notes played in one hour: 93,650.

I, for one, am quite content with the prestissimos of early Rubinstein, Rachmaninov, Horowitz, Richter, Barere and the hell with the missed notes. Moreover, a simple Mozart melody played by artists like Ruth Slenczynska or Rubinstein may transport the listener to celestial aesthetic heights unattainable by passages of 64th notes – regardless of their accuracy and speed.
Les Dreyer
New York City, US

 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NYTimes.com: Sunday Dialogue: Is Classical Music Dying?

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SUNDAY REVIEW   | November 24, 2012
LETTERS:  Sunday Dialogue: Is Classical Music Dying?
Readers react to a violinist̢۪s fear that its audience is declining.
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Monday, November 19, 2012

NYTimes.com: Invitation to a Dialogue: Saving Classical Music

Sent by ldreyer@nyc.rr.com:
Letter

Invitation to a Dialogue: Saving Classical Music

A violinist writes about ways to keep classical music alive, including use of Bugs Bunny. Readers are invited to reply.

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