William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick: Performing the worst Borodin Qt ever

The importance of playing music

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick tells a story expressing how important it is to make music.

Released on July 27, 2022

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

We performed the famous Borodin quartet in Aspen and it was an absolute disaster. Nothing was clicking or working, it was simply an awful performance. Afterwards backstage I didn't want to see anyone and be forced to make that so insincere smile that one makes after concerts, but the public was let in anyways. It was then that an elderly lady approached me with tears in her eyes. She told me the story behind her first hearing of the quartet and how our performance brought back all of those memories. She thanked me profusely for the moment we had given her and then walked away. This moment was important to me as it reminded me the reason behind us doing what we do, with all the hard work and time we put into it. It reminded me that through music that we can touch someone and this is a beautiful thing.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Tosh * VSM MEMBER * on July 27, 2022 @12:34 pm PST
Serious musicians have always been more critical of their own performances than the regular musical audience (most of whom have never played the instruments and/or the music being performed and don't understand and/or don't care about the technical issues involved in performance). While musicians are more concerned with the technical minutiae of their performances, the general audience is
just enjoying the overall experience of listening to the music, once heard, evanescent and
gone forever. However, it's a different thing when one's performance has been laid down in a recording so that one's mistakes can be heard over and over...which is why
mistakes are removed and corrected passages spliced in their
place to make it seem like a more perfect performance before the recording is considered a finished product. That difference may explain to some extent why a lot of musicians prefer live performance to making a recording. (As for the Borodin quartet, which I have also played with others...I've long thought that the best recording of the piece was made by the famous Borodin Quartet (most aptly named)...There have been some atrocious
recordings of this piece made by other quartets. This most melodic piece requires delicate precision combined with passionate commitment.)
William - host, on August 1, 2022 @4:39 am PST
Very well said!
George Mahida * VSM MEMBER * on July 27, 2022 @7:31 am PST
Dr William Fitzpatrick thanks for sharing this particular story. We may think our performance is total disaster but music has a way of touching lives beyond our wildest expectations. I am also thankful to the lady who openly & honestly shared with you. Music touches lives!
George Mahida
William - host, on August 1, 2022 @4:40 am PST
I so whole heartedly agree!!! Music does touch lives!
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