Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Heard Violins

Things changed for me big time in the Spring of 1973. I heard violins....up close. I was in 3rd grade, and a string quartet from the University of Texas String Project came to give a demonstration at Pillow Elementary School. I knew right then and there I wanted to learn to play the violin. And thanks to my parents, I soon began taking lessons....and the rest is history.
I had, of course, "heard" violins on recordings before that fateful day, but it was my fist experience holding one...trying to play one...and most importantly, hearing it right next to my ear as I held it under my chin and scratched the bow across it. I was....and still love.
Violins are every kind of music. Paganini to Charlie Daniels. Brian Eno to Metallica. Sinatra to Stephan Grapellli. You name it.
The versatility of the violin is amazing and very special if you ask me. The best part of the Beethoven Violin Concerto is????.....the violin of course. The best part of Johnny Mathis's classic hit Misty? Well sure, his voice is awesome....but the background strings tie it all together if you ask me. How about the Verve's hit song Bitter Sweet Symphony? Right....the strings steal the show! When Frank Sinatra teamed with the Hollywood String Quartet and arranger Nelson Riddle, they created that amazing sound that became the basis for his legendary Capitol Records recording period.
So I plan to share great examples of violins in all kinds of music as part of this blog. Let's kick things off with Close to You, as recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1943.

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