In Love Again — With a Classic


My pile of unread New Yorker magazines has shrunk down to two back issues, now that our T.V. has gone dark. I love the feeling.

This morning at breakfast, I finished up an article I’d started reading yesterday by Alex Ross (August 31 issue) called Taking Liberties. The focus of his piece is the “cadenza.”

If you’re not familiar with the term, the cadenza is to classical music what the guitar or drum solo is to popular music — an opportunity for musicians to improvise, pull out all the stops and knock the socks off their audience.

Lucky for us, Ross has suggested checking out violinist Gilles Apap’s video on You Tube. It is my pleasure to have saved you the legwork. Take a look — and hold onto your socks:

If you’re a classical music lover (or even if you’re not — but, how can that be possible — still, I supposed there’s always the chance that you just haven’t heard enough of it), this clip of Apap’s genius as applied to Mozart’s glorious Violin Concert #3 — where he invokes bluegrass and bits of whistling and some sly appropriations from other composers — is guaranteed to blow your mind.

Did you notice the sublime sense of being “rescued” you felt towards the end of the cadenza, when Apap seamlessly glides back into Mozart, as written?

Just when you thought might be losing Wolfgang forever…Apap permits you win him back.

Love requited. And isn’t it grand.

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