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Eloise Garland

The Mysterious Violinist

December 26, 2010 at 4:59 PM

 Over the past couple of weeks I have endured concert after concert, church service after service. Although I was ill for the most part of some important ones (and unfortunately missed one), I attended a row of 5 concerts in a massive hall as part of a youth choir I am in. Of course, there was a full choir, an orchestra and a famous guest presenter (I won't say who it actually was though for my own sake). 

Anyway, the concerts were all going well, and I was right in line so I could see the first violin section, and the lead violinist. The lead violinist was fascinating to watch - he was quite large, laid back and had big hands. His grey hair half flopped over his eyes as he played and he had to keep pushing his glasses up to the bridge of his nose every few minutes. His violin quite frankly looked tiny next to him, and his bow seemed too short for his arms. He looked as if he would have been more suited to the double bass rather than the violin! He barely looked at the conductor as he was playing apart from during his solo parts and instead just concentrated on the score in front of him. His posture and the way he played meant that he was relaxed and slouched back, and everything seemed utterly effortless to him. Trills send my fingers flying and my vibrato is quite obvious, but when he was doing trills and vibrato his fingers barely moved, almost like it didn't exist in the music. Saying all of this, on solo parts, his playing and technique was utterly beautiful and sent my ears into a new frenzy, a passion and a desire to play like him.  

This man had such a strange air about him that I cannot describe. I felt like I could connect with him in some strange way, and every time he looked in my direction (with quite a stern look about him in general) I wondered if he could see me and be able to tell whether I was a violinist?

Every concert I went to, I would watch him. I started to pick up some differences in the ways he approaches techniques (tremolo was played nearer the middle of the bow rather than at the tip, and his spiccato was very neat and not wild like some other people's were). It was fascinating. 

Of course, he was not always stern, there were some points where he turned around and smiled at people in the choir, and I saw him laughing with a group of other violinists at one point. He did go very serious looking when he was playing though, almost as though he had just entered a completely different world and mind-set all together.

I wonder who this man is now? I never found out his name at all, but maybe I will go and ask. To me, he is a mysterious violinist, someone I can look up to and follow. I don't know if I will see him again - I probably will, but until that day, I will take his example up and follow his way.


From Tom Holzman
Posted on December 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM

What an interesting perspective.  I hope you find out who the man is, or maybe not.  Anyhow, he will always be with you. 

From Trevor Jennings
Posted on December 27, 2010 at 10:23 PM


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