Life isn’t fair

July 2, 2016 at 10:30 am

To dovetail off of yesterday’s post, music has to be in the present in order to exist. Organized dots on a page are not music – it doesn’t become music until it exists either as imagined or real vibrating air molecules, heard by a human. The harsh reality of this is, sometimes great music can be sitting dormant in books (or even a person’s brain), waiting to be heard by others. Take, for example, Edward Elgar‘s Cello Concerto.

The concerto received one of the famously worst premieres in music history – all thanks to an inconsiderate conductor who didn’t allow for enough time to rehearse the piece. When it was first performed in 1919, the orchestra did so poorly that the piece instantly fell into obscurity. It wasn’t until 1960 – 25 years after Elgar’s death – that the piece exploded in popularity due to a particularly stunning performance by Jacqueline du Pré (about whom a film was recently made.)

A twist of circumstances, a poor decision by a person in control, and history can be changed. It might not be fair, but it’s life.