No tags :(

Share it

Black and white

*** This isn’t what I wore to the symphony Saturday night, but I like this little lace skirt paired with a striped top, both of which came from J. Jill, several years apart. My symphony outfit was a black beaded tunic which I wore with black velvet pants and silver heels. I found the tunic with a Macy’s $108 price tag still hanging on it at Goodwill. I got it for $4! Woo hoo! ***


Suppose you are among the most influential composers and performers of your time, working in the world’s hot-bed of culture. Musicians near and far travel to study with you because you’re on the cutting edge of something big in music.

In your “spare” time, you teach foreign languages to royalty and make trips representing your country because, along with being the greatest violin virtuoso of your time, you’ve become something of a diplomat. Among your protégés and admirers are people that become legends themselves—people like Johann Sebastian Bach.

If this were the case, your name would certainly be on every tongue for the next several hundred years if not for all eternity. Wouldn’t it? But it wasn’t so for Johann Paul von Westhoff, a German violist who has been all but forgotten since his death in 1705.

I owe this discovery to Daniel Hope, a British violinist who performed von Westhoff’s Imitation of Bells as his encore piece at a Saturday night concert of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Following a riveting performance of Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 in G Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Hope returned to the stage and enthralled the audience with this two-minute movement from von Westhoff’s Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Bass. The piece seemed nearly impossible to play––but play it he did as a solo, minus the bass. Take a listen at the link above.

I like it so much that I raced to ITunes to find a von Westhoff album, settling on David Plantier & David les plaisirs du Parnasse. (It includes Imitation of Bells.) While I was on there, I couldn’t resist Joshua Bell’s new album, Joshua Bell and St. Martin in the Fields, Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7. Bell, a native Hoosier, is both violinist and conductor on this album! You can hear him talk about it here.

I love when a good encore practically upstages the performance that preceded it! (How is that possible?) What’s the most memorable encore performance you’ve ever seen? What are you listening to these days? P.S. I linked this post to my friend Patti’s blog, Not Dead Yet Style. Check out her Visible Monday feature every week for some great ideas.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.