Klarinet Archive - Posting 000600.txt from 2001/04
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Revelli, Perlman, and other geniuses
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:33:56 -0400
At 10:23 AM 04/25/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>The discussion of the personality traits and quirks of famous musicians
>such as Itzhak Perlman and William Revelli causes me to ask a
>philosophical question: To what extent does extraordinary talent permit a
>person to be (pardon the word) a jerk?
There seems to be a common thought amongst those who are NOT artistically
developed - that artists - be they musicians or otherwise - are
temperamental, egotistical, etc......... But like horoscopes, it seems
somewhat general to state this.......
Personlly, I have noticed that the greater the
talent/success......generally the worse the behavior.
>Some people seem to believe that exceptionally-gifted people (in whatever
>field) are allowed to be lacking in human sensitivity or social graces,
>yet others feel that such people should be held to the same standards of
>civility as anyone else. I'd be most interested in hearing the opinions
>of our learned clarinetists on this matter of international importance......
In terms of Revelli's approach, his ideal was perfection - and he held
students to the same lofty goals. He believed everyone should strive to be
the best at whatever they do. He felt most people were short in motivation
in this area - so he provided the motivation. His failing, perhaps, was
that each person has a different gift - and it does not always include
striving to be the best at something. There is nothing wrong with
mediocrity - in some avocations - especially when personal traits that may
be more valued are superb. But then - that would be being the best or
close to the best at SOMETHING - even if it is a personality trait - so
maybe he was right in a twisted way?
Revelli hated mediocrity - and those who allowed themselves to be mediocre.
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121
"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)
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