Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday music: Bazzini, "La ronde des Lutins," played by Zino Francescatti (jaw dropping)

Virtuoso violinist René-Charles "Zino" Francescatti (1902-1991) gives an amazing performance of a composition by Italian violinist Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897).

By the end of this tour de force, one feels that Francescatti has drawn from that instrument every note that a violin is capable of emitting, utilizing every style with a violin can be played.

(Many thanks to reader Kurt Kroeker for the tip.)

I watch and wonder, is there anything in which I am as skilled as Francescatti is, on his violin? Then I think a(as you'd expect) of pastors, and what a low level of Bible knowledge (particularly Greek and Hebrew) we settle for.

The question occurs: "Then what are you going to pour yourself into? In what will you excel, to God's glory?"


~Mark said...

A stunning presentation of skill honed no doubt through sweat and tears. You know, I wish I had an answer for the questions you ask but actually I've been painfully wrestling with those same questions for about 2 or 3 months now.

I looked at some friends and family members who've picked what they want to do, devoted to it, and are now at the top of their field at least locally.

I like many things, I am good at several things, but whether due to personal inconsistency or God's timing I don't know, I have not been able to pick one and throw myself into it wholeheartedly.

The only thing I find I can do without a wandering mind is studying Scripture. There are other things I can do which I would love to just choose and if not excel in at least make a name with, certainly though not at the expense of my Scriptural studies.

I'm a very good cook, an ok writer, a good radio producer, I raise gorgeous tropical fish...I'd love to choose one and say "this is the field in which I specialize" but at some point they all fail to excite me to the point of devoting myself to them.

It's been a difficult realization.

Rachael Starke said...

Come on Dan. If a guy's got a degree from a seminary, and he's in a pulpit, then he must be gifted. And if he's gifted, then he certainly shouldn't be investing his time in human mechanisms like language study or developing his speaking skills. Those are just worldly devices, sure to get in the way of what the Holy Spirit has gifted him to say. And let's not forget that he's got a degree and a pulpit...

Death or Glory Toad said...

Incredible. I could go for a tenth of that talent in anything I do.

I can't seem to tie myself to any one thing and make noteworthy progress on it.

I certainly appreciate your exhortation. I could do better at pouring myself into something for God's glory.

JackW said...

There are people who are willing to practice until they get it right, but there are very few people who will practice until they can't get it wrong.

That's the difference.

Lorraine said...

I'm feeling this pain too. I'm echoing Mark's comments and wondering the same things about my self...personal inconsistency? interest in too many (varried) things? I actually play the violin too, but very badly in comparison to the vid, play around on piano, cello, and dabble in various ministry things - I really need to pray about this. Thanks for sticking it in my face again

Herding Grasshoppers said...

@JackW - that's exactly what our choir director says... "We're going to practice this until we can't get it wrong."

Which is not to say that I get it all right...

But Dan, is it for all of us to excel at something?

I don't know, maybe it's just been an overwhelming week for me, but I wonder if I'll ever excel at anything. Or if, maybe, some of us are just the mortar between the bricks.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


And, HSAT, the Bazzini piece was amazing.

Brad Williams said...

Then what are you going to pour yourself into? In what will you excel, to God's glory?

I leave really awesome comments in blog comment sections.


Yeah, so I wonder if Mr. Francescatti was aware of how good he was. I wonder if he walked away from a concert going, "I totally rocked that tonight." Or did he think, "I missed a note! A note! I can't believe I did that!" Or he probably got home after a concert and asked his wife, "How did you think it went?" And she said, "Honey, you should smile more."

I have a CD by the "Welcome Wagon", and at the end of one of the songs while the mic is still on the girl says, "I screwed up twice." I have listened to that song probably a hundred times, and every time she says that I think, "WHERE?!"

Unknown said...

Obviously dubbed and then played back at 2x speed...

Honestly, that was incredible! A true master at work. He's obviously not sawing logs!

Penetrating questions too, Dan. Oh how easy it is to settle for mediocrity.

Unknown said...

Ecc 9:10

Stefan Ewing said...

That gentleman is a true virtuoso.

I like to think I'm good at many things, and in terms of worldly skills, I'm passably good at a few things.

But in terms of Christian ministry, I marvel at what others do and are passionate about.

The only thing I'm any good at at all is praying for others, and that only by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Much that is done religiously is not done unto God. A sermon may be preached, and contain excellent truth, and the language in which the truth is stated may be everything that could be desired, and yet the service rendered may be to the hearers, or to the man’s own self, and not to God at all. You may go to your Sabbath-school class, and with great perseverance you may instruct those little children, but yet you may have served your fellow teachers, or the general community, rather than have served your God.

To whom do you look for a reward? Whose smile is it that gladdens you? Whose frown would depress you? Whose honor do you seek in all that you are doing? For remember that which is uppermost in thy heart is thy master. If thy deepest motive be to seem to be active, to appear to be diligent and to win commendation for taking thy share in the church’s work, thou hast not served God, thou hast sacrificed unto others. O beloved, this is a point; which, though it be very simple to speak of, is very searching indeed if it be brought home to heart and conscience, for then much of that which glitters will be found not to be gold, and the glory of much apparently excellent serving will dissolve in smoke. The Lord must be the sole object of thy labor; the pursuit of his glory must, like a clear crystal stream, run through the whole of thy life, or thou art not yet his servant. Sinister motives and selfish aims are the death of true godliness; search and look, lest these betray thee unawares.

From a sermon entitled "Serving the Lord," delivered August 15, 1869. Image by Justin Donnelly under Creative Commons License.