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great story... so was all that playing on a million dollar 


on 8/15/01 10:03 AM, Tom Ritchford at tom@swirly.com wrote:

> Here's a "gear" story.
> "On November 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on
> stage for a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New
> York City. If you've ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that
> getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken
> with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks
> with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage, one
> step at a time, very deliberately and slowly, is an event. He walks
> painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits
> down, slowly puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on
> his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward.
> Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin,
> nods to the conductor, and proceeds to play.
> "By now the audience is used to the ritual. They sit quietly while
> he makes his way across the stage to his chair; they remain
> reverently silent while he undoes his clasps on his legs; they wait
> until he is ready to play.
> "But this time something went wrong. Just as he finished the first
> few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it
> snap--it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no
> mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he
> had to do. The people who were there that night thought to
> themselves, 'We figured that he would have to get up, put on the
> clasps again, pick up the crutches and amble his way offstage to
> either find another violin or else find another string for this one.'
> "But he didn't. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes, and
> then signaled the conductor to begin again. The orchestra began,
> and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such
> passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard
> before. Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a
> symphonic work with just three strings; I know that, and you know
> that. But that night, Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. You
> could see him modulating, changing, recomposing the piece in his
> head. At one point it sounded like he was detuning the strings to
> get new sounds from them that they had never made before.
> "And when he was finished, there was an awesome silence in the
> room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an
> extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the
> auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering, doing
> everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he
> had done. He smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, raised his
> bow to quiet us, and then he said--not boastfully, but in a quiet,
> pensive, reverent tone-- 'You know, sometimes it is the artist's task
> to find out how much music you can still make with what you have
> left.'
> "What a powerful line that is! It has stayed in my mind ever
> since I heard it. And who knows? Perhaps that's the way of life, not
> just for artists, but for all of us. Here is a man who has prepared all
> his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who all of a
> sudden, in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three
> strings. So he makes music with three strings. And the music he
> made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more
> sacred, more memorable than any that he had ever made before
> when he had four strings.
> "So perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering
> world in which we live, is to make music--at first with all that we
> have, and then, when that's no longer possible, to make music with
> what we have left."
> Jack Riemer of the Houston Chronicle
> <http://ax.to/fortune>.........a new fortune every minute.
> <http://FortNY.com>..................Forteans of New York.