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Bravura brilliance versus simple human decency

By Michael Moriarty
web posted April 16, 2018

It used to be quite a long title.

However, it’s been quite a long and painfully challenging week!

Not only did I hear, in last night’s Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s concert, a generous display of both “bravura brilliance” as well as the profoundest of human musical decency, I, and the entire world, have experienced, in recent days, both the dregs of human behavior and the most technically brilliant and decisive response to such behavior.

To make the profoundest of both musical genius and musical decency clear, one need merely in include, in one’s own concert program, as was done last night, one of J. S. Bach’s movements from his creations for solo violin.

Esther Yoo made what I believe was her Vancouver debut with the VSO by performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto.

Esther Yoo
Ms. Esther Yoo and Her Stradivarius
 

The Bach piece was merely an encore, but what an encore it was!

Being an impromptu selection and not having the title of the piece printed in the program, and not really being able to hear Ms. Yoo announce it, I’m guessing it was the Andante from Bach’s Sonata # 2 in A minor, but without the repetitions.

I could very well be wrong about that!

God willing,

the frighteningly gifted Ms. Yoo

 will forgive me. 

At any rate, it was performed more like an adagio than something in andante tempo.

It was also riddled with ever-treacherous double-stops.

However, after Ms. Yoo’s principle selection, the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor, double stops, plus any other challenge to violin virtuosity, such as harmonics or arpeggios tossed off at blistering tempos, the Bach encore was divinely humble and almost sacredly chosen to make a most breath-taking point!

Bravura for the sake of bravura is inevitably a necessary career move for any ambitious soloist.

I doubt if anything from the entirely major canon for solo violin is more challenging or more exhausting to master than the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor.

Sibelius, being a kind of failed violinist himself, seems to take revenge upon all other violinists by handing them this concerto’s mega-ton first movement.

I am not a fan of Sibelius.

My God of music has been, is and always shall be Johann Sebastian Bach.

All other composers, including the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and, one of my most favorite giants, Dimitri Shostakovich, can only hope to pay obligatory tribute to Bach.

They cannot, in any way, surpass him.

Bach appears to me to be the virtual creator and, yes, God of diatonic harmony; and, therefore, the virtual God of Music.

Now what do I believe, is, as I described, the “breath-taking point” that Ms. Yoo was possibly trying to make with her Bach encore?

It is depth of thought

and feeling

And not technical virtuosity

That can transform

Any art form

And its creations

Into a momentary religious experience. 

Having, in light of Ms. Yoo’s super-bravura performance of Sibelius, so clearly made the above point, Ms. Yoo, given her clear understanding of that very, very troubling irony about art and artists – that technical brilliance is no certain insurance of truly great art – Esther Yoo, I feel, is now obliged, in the context of every “Bravura” display of her technical gifts, to give us a glimpse of the temple that Johann Sebastian Bach created out of.

Now, my opening paragraphs to this meditation is, I believe, obviously referring to the recently homicidal obscenities perpetrated, again, upon the Syrian people by their indisputably villainous leader, Basher al-Assad!

Bashar Asad
The Twin Soul to Kim Jong-un.

And our President, Donald Trump, has hurtled, at both of these indisputable villains, al-Assad and Jong-un, increasingly obligatory challenges!

“Cease and desist!

Or

There will be increasingly huge

Prices for both of you to pay!” 

President Trump and his divinely brilliant military advisers, along with the growing coalition of England and France to support him, delivered, yet again, another clear message to the most blatant displays of villainy we have ever seen since both Hitler and Stalin.

Meanwhile, a man I greatly admire, but whose only and persistently major disagreement with President Trump has been the President’s handling of Syria and Bashar al-Assad, Tucker Carlson?!

Tucker Carlson
Patronizing or Atheist?

In the midst of all of Mr. Carlson’s brilliance, there’s a profoundly bigger picture that he, with his unrelenting admiration for Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet Russia, has either patronized or, the only other alternative, Tucker Carlson is, as admirers of Russia are obliged to be, an atheist.

The “bigger picture”: Judeo-Christianity.

You cannot be the undeniable beneficiary of a predominantly Judeo-Christian creation, America, and blithely ignore the blatantly obvious threats that the Middle East, most of it, has, for Centuries, made to Judeo-Christianity.

America’s literally Biblical obligation to protect the very creators of the Old Testament, Israelis and Israel, seems to carry no weight with some very hip, and eloquently fashionable Americans.

Of all the many, very disturbing developments in the United States that Tucker Carlson regularly and most justifiably warns us about, one of the most disturbing is Mr. Carlson’s own refusal to see the history that obliges America to treat Israel as almost a State-like territory within the meaning of America.

Syria’s present and horrifyingly repeated Evil represents not just the malignancies within Bashar al-Assad but the entirely diabolical history and intentions of Syria’s present allies: Putin’s Neo-Soviet Russia and a shamelessly tyrannical Iran.

I believe that President Trump, his military and his allies of France and England, reached a kind of military and diplomatic perfection with this week’s bombing of just the chemical factories in which the by-now, infamous poisons of Syria were made.

With a miraculous and most astounding minimum of human injury, the Trump Coalition sent the most carefully considered and flawless message to a few of the major villains of the world! 

America is back, thank God!

And the Free World is once more in charge!!

Those, like Tucker Carlson, who blindly side with an unashamedly Neo-Soviet opinion of things?

Not even Neo-Soviet Russia’s supposedly best friend for ten minutes, Donald Trump, can put up with the Truth about Vladimir Putin’s ultimate intentions: REBUILD THE SOVIET UNION AND, WITH RED CHINA’S, NORTH KOREA’S AND IRAN’S INVALUABLE HELP, END ALL DEMOCRACY WITHIN THE HUMAN RACE. ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.

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