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I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.

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Friday, July 16   >>

GO SPEED RACER, GO: BACH EDITION



Listen to the clip above for Bach's Prelude in D No. 5 (it's the first part up until 1:35 preceding its fugue)

Why is she playing so fast? Who encouraged her to believe that this is the way to play Bach's music, let alone music at all?

Often times, kids get cocky when they've muscle-memorized a song and they automatically think that speeding up a piece is synonymous to how well one plays it.

It's not. And it's something I often tell my students: "Fast doesn't mean good. Good means good."

(Scarily enough, one of my high school friends told me that I subconsciously ripped this off of our fascist band director whose motto was, "Fast isn't thrilling; thrilling is thrilling!" Yikes.)

Most of my students have caught on and are learning really early that restraint and control are way sexier than blazing through a song at 25 cylinders. Why? Because I'm fucking awesome, that's why.

The girl above looks like she's in her late teens, early 20s, probably with crazy Jewish parents who made her take piano classes so that they could show off how much better their child is in comparison to kids of their relatives and/or co-workers. Her hands may be fast, but they are also dead and void of any soul.

She doesn't hold a candle to this 9-year-old whose interpretation of the same Bach prelude is infinitely more gorgeous. I hear notes. And lines. And clear phrases. And not a self-congratulatory/masturbatory performance that says, "ME! ME! LOOK AT ME! I'M GOOD AND I HAVE A 4.0 GPA AND AM TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT THAT THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS MEAN NOTHING IN THE GREATER SCHEME OF HOW I'LL TRULY STAND OUT IN THE REAL WORLD!"



GAME OVER.