[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]
NEW VIOLIN CONCERTO POSES CHALLENGES
(P1) Violinist Nicola Benedetti says she feared she wouldn’t be able to play a new CONCERTO, set to PREMIERE in London this Friday.
(P2) She said Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto in D presented many challenges in the final MOVEMENT, which was inspired by a SCOTTISH REEL.
(P3) “I can’t play it yet, to be quite honest,” she said in an interview.
(P4) “It’s very difficult.”
(P5) Marsalis wrote the concerto – his first – specifically for Benedetti.
(P6) The world premiere takes place at the Barbican CONCERT HALL on Friday night, where the Scottish violinist will be supported by the London Symphony Orchestra.
(P7) Benedetti’s fears over the performance have been SOOTHED by a period of intense rehearsals.
(P8) “My feeling now is that it will be a piece that violinists will love,” she said, saying it EXEMPLIFIED “the range of colour and the melodic expressive potential of the violin”.
(P9) Benedetti, who won BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age 16 in 2004, first met Marsalis 10 years ago at New York’s Lincoln Centre.
(P10) He is a New Orleans-born trumpeter, composer and teacher, who has become one of the most INFLUENTIAL voices in JAZZ.
(P11) The duo have worked closely on the violin concerto, which draws inspiration from jazz, BLUES, and Scottish FOLK MUSIC.
(P12) Asked about the difficulties of combining the three DISPARATE musical traditions, Marsalis simply replied: “They’re not different at all”.
(P13) “The root of all Afro-American music is Anglo-CELTIC music. In the slavery time, the slaves played reels and IRISH JIGS and Scottish music. Our music is joined at the roots – so it’s not difficult at all to find COMMONALITY.”
(P14) The 53-year-old added that he would not be suffering from nerves ahead of the concerto’s world premiere.
(P15) “I don’t have any professional stress. No type of review bothers me,” he said.
(P16) Benedetti said she was still “learning” to be relaxed about criticisms of her work.
(P17) “Reviews can UPSET me sometimes,” she admitted, “but the truth is they can all be quite RANDOM.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Describe some of the musical traditions of your country.
- Did you ever have to do something difficult that you were afraid you wouldn’t be able to do?
- Have you ever performed or spoken in front of an audience? Did it make you nervous?
- Do you play a musical instrument?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Folk music