The first time I heard the “Chaconne in G Minor” by Vitali was at a violin recital in January.
The most recent performance of this piece that I attended was March 7 and it was played by Sarah Chang, my new favorite violinist (well, one of them).
Needless to say, Chang was a much more skilled violinist than the girl who played at the recital.
Her vibrato was warm and enticing, drawing the audience into her sound and delivering me to a trancelike state of awe.
The notes on the pages of music (not like she was actually using them–it was all memorized) were transformed into emotions, pure passion exploding in my face.
Chang took me from a tranquil sea of pacifism one minute to a tempestuous tornado of vexation the next. And all in one piece!
Despite Chang’s obvious skill and prowess in making music, her stage presence really sets her apart from others in her field.
Sitting in the audience, I felt a strange sensation of spying on Chang.
While she was performing, it was as if she were in her own world and I was lucky enough to be present for the display.
Her movements were so natural and unprocessed that it seemed as though the audience was nonexistent to her.
From the bending and unbending of her body in the intense parts of the piece to the playful steps in the more “spunky” parts, her gestures brought the audience into her musical world.
Chang’s performance also included a Prokofiev concerto and an arranged version of West Side Story for violin and piano.
Hours later, I’m still thinking about the alluring sounds of the Prokofiev concerto.
I’m also thinking about my own mediocre playing.
At 8 years old, Chang was making her debut with the New York Philharmonic. Yes, she was one of those kids.
At 8 years old, I was still trying to figure out how to keep my bow from poking me in the eye while playing.
And to make my position seem even worse, Chang performed the piece that I am working on now (Henri Wieniawski’s “Second Concerto in D Minor”) when she was only 4.
Amazingly, I haven’t given up on violin yet.
I guess I’ll just have to deal with the fact that I will never be as good as Sarah Chang.
Well, at least I have the consolation that very few people are as good as she.