Monday, November 2, 2009

Zander's pursuit

Maestro Zander is known as a top-rate conductor, and he should be just as known for his public speaking. His presentation on ( would be one of his latest examples.

He is invited to talk on to share his love for classical music, but more so, his conviction that everyone has an untapped love for it. He sits at the piano and plays Chopin's most famous prelude (No.4), deconstructs it in layman's terms, and plays it again. He urges everyone in the audience to listen while imagining a dear friend or family member that has passed away. He asks this of the audience to ensure that everyone take part in a similar experience.

If he would have asked them to focus on the aesthetics or technique, only a few would be able to truly appreciate the piece. Instead he asked us to imagine something dear to us, enabling us to give the piece our own meaning.

Some would argue that restricting listening to accepted music listening styles hinders the audience by stifling their imagination. While this can be true to a certain extent, it also provides guidance to some, simplifying this seemingly complicated music into a simple memory trigger.

Zander reduced Chopin's prelude to a nostalgic piece that everyone can relate to. He was able to captivate the 1,600 people in the does it matter?

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