Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bartok's VIOLIN CONCERTO #1. Yehudi Menuhin: violin

In this photo: Jerome Schuerger.

Way back in 1963, I pretty much hated classical music. The Schuergers(people I
babysat for) played a lotta classical albums that I pretty much closed my ears to.
One eventful day their friends Bill Cole and John Cage(yes,THE John Cage) came over to their apt to visit
as they often did. "Play Yehudi for me!", Cage, slightly drunk, said on this occasion. Jerry Schuerger sought out
the album and, seeing the cover; a guy with a violin, orchestra behind, I sighed, "Please noooo!" to myself.
The disc was put on the turntable, the needle dropped and SURPRISE! I LOVED what I heard. I
disbelieved my own prejudice! I snatched up the cover and read, "Bartok Violin Concerto no.1/
Yehudi Menuhin: violin/ Antol Durati: conductor"!!!! I sat and listened!
It ended and Mr. Cage went over and began to flip the album to play side 2, "No, no, Jerry, please
play that again! The same side. Tell John to play it again!", I demanded. Well, knowing me , they were both at a
loss for words. They repeated the recording, and I was given much teasing for being a softy and all.
Jerry celebrated this awakening in me by (after calling my mom!) letting me have a small glass of wine.
It was summer. Christmas and New Year came and went and my bday rolled around. Jerry and Judy Schuerger
and Mr. Cage jointly gave me the Bartok I so loved; plus an album of the modernist Schoenberg,
and Stravinsky's RITES OF SPRING, both of which I had also come to appreciate.

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