Saturday, September 29, 2012

Classical Music: The Ultimate Rebel

Some words from concert violinist Hilary Hahn on classical music 
and its ability to transcend time and culture.


I have realized something recently about classical music, something that both surprises and delights me. As a player, I have a constant backdrop of classical music in my thoughts and in my inner soundtrack, and there is unlimited potential for discovery within this music’s history and ongoing offerings. Like most people who are reading these words, I fell for the works, the emotions, the directness, and the nebulousness within classical music long ago.
"Afternoon Memories' by darkmello from Deviantart

But this thing that I realized about classical music has little to do with any of that. It is rather that classical music is the ultimate rebel. This overarching body of work kicks butt so much, and has such seniority over us, that it does not care whether any one person likes it or not. It will be what it will be. Its composers will write what they will write. It does not need to cater to us any more. By now, it is greater than the sum of our human contributions, and that is terrific! Despite this, it humors us. It lets us practice and theorize; it enriches our commutes and our evenings in and our evenings out; it runs through our heads taunting us; it brings infamy to its creators and challenges to its interpreters; it teases us, amuses us, makes statements, and generally does its own thing while allowing listeners and performers to see themselves in it. All the while, classical music — this messy, brilliant, ever-evolving giant of a genre — encompasses a uniqueness that we hope to retain. It is beautiful, and it is unpredictable."

-- Hilary Hahn, “Celebrate Classical Music: I Love Classical Music.” September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm.