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<<  -- 2 --  David Thompson    INSPIRING CONFIDENCE


Reading through it myself, I was reminded of that venerable and thorough musical pedagogue of yesteryear, Annie Warburton, who wrote an endless stream of books for the young student of music, which, if faithfully read and remembered would give you all the knowledge and facility to pass examinations. I certainly benefited from this, though I always pictured in my mind a stern and demanding teacher with a very uncompromising and old fashioned attitude towards teacher/pupil relationships. Barbara Nissman, however, injects much more sense of fun and enjoyment into her writing. This, and the smiling face on the photograph, suggest a teacher who would always get the best out of her students, who would willingly work hard, because they liked her and were infected by her enthusiasm. Reaching the end of Ms Nissman's book, I felt that, if, (if only!) I possessed sufficient technical skill, I could be a respectable performer of Bartók. Perhaps those blessed with such skill can indeed so aspire and be inspired towards, this laudable end. That would certainly be all to the good.

Like a seasoned and experienced explorer of difficult terrain, Ms Nissman inspires our confidence, and encourages us to follow her onwards and upwards, guiding us every step of the way she knows so well, and anticipating the pitfalls. As we journey forward, she points out things of interest in the musical scenery: the sitz im leben of each work; the development of musical language; the close affinity with native folksong heritage, and how this obsession of Bartók's became almost a new art-form in retaining its identity whilst being assimilated into Bartók's own unmistakable style and coloration.

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Copyright © 18 May 2003 David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK


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