Friday, November 16, 2007

The Quiet Hall of Dreams

Dream. (Traume.) Reverie. (Traumerei.)

Actually, dreams come true. I am still thinking this after my opinion that tonight's Democratic Candidate debate fell short of the mark I hold for them.

Nightmares do end you know, and in this particular musical case, the Dreamer who helped many people awake from their nightmare was this artist - Horowitz.

Watch, and most important, listen to the simplicity of this pre-Soviet-wall-falling-down performance, and then I want to tell you a couple other things about it:

1986 performance of Horowitz in Moscow. The first time the old man got to go home to Russia. In a gajillion years. (The next time in 1989 would be his last, allthough nobody knew it, except for maybe Vladimir himself.) He lived in New York City for ever, but really not. "Volodya" was truly a World Citizen, not only because of his world class artist status, but because he really worked at it.

Did you observe the quiet and reverence with which this encore was recieved? Did you observe the thoughtfulness of the audience, whereby they actually internalized a "dream" performance? There's a man chewing his glasses, a woman holding her head, yet all in a certain reverance. Did you catch that? The silence in the hall as everyone watches the old man is fraught with respect in my opinion. Stunning.

Here's the deal. Horowitz brought back to his native Russian family a picture of the world that was entirely inclusive. Modern. Not Fascist. Not Communist. Many of the folks in the video had family experience or were veterans of the Nazi siege against Moscow, and here we have Horowitz playing SCHUMANN, and these same people still regard Horowitz with love and reverance?

I know why they do. They are loving the Art, The Artist and sensing their new future, just around the corner. Because it WAS around the corner. Thos folks could tell they rounded a tipping point. There's a certain sublime trust of these ordinary Russians in an extraordinary Russian, come home to say simple things to them.

We need a similar moment for ourselves. Who will bring it?

Listen yourself for the simple American in the current cacophany.



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