Sunday, April 13, 2014

'The Art Of" - Further Paradigms...

When I read of the passing of Mickey Rooney this past week, a montage formed rather quickly; a montage of names that had filled my early childhood with memories so powerful, so indelible, so much a part of my daily encounters and adventures that formed  the ways of my early existence - well, I thought that I should share these pages of my memory book with you:
Mickey Rooney.   Shirley Temple.   Jascha Heifetz.   Artur Rubinstein.   Michael Rabin.   Yehudi Menuhin...
These names engrossed me as a child when their performances  were presented by recording or in theaters, depending upon who the performer was.
Menuhin, as a teenager, dazzling me with his "Moto Perpetuo" by Paganini - how CAN he do what he does?
Artur Rubinstein - although he was born back in the 19th century, I recall seeing many photographs of his  seducing European audiences before entering his teens - another Mozart??
Michael Rabin enrapturing my senses, in vanquishing Paganini at age twelve - my ears are truly deceiving me.
Jascha Heifetz, still in short pants,  overwhelming  the elemental resistance factors indigenous to the violin - he's only a little kid!...
Shirley Temple, by way  of  communicating with all the girls in my neighborhood , let alone the parents.  I remember the numbers of blue and pink tumblers with her picture embossed upon them; on windowsills; in my school on many desks occupied by girls - photographs of her in countless locations wherever I happened to be; her name on almost all of the theater marquees all over town.
And Mickey Rooney -  on my birthday,  my first piano teacher, whom I loved, gave me a copy of  Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn". It contained a photograph of Mickey Rooney, who played the part of Huck Finn in a movie released during that period. I remember clasping  that book wherever I went, taking it to bed with me - the two of us were inseparable for quite a period,  I'm sure.  I loved reading, and always carried a book around with me a great deal of the time.
All these memories leaped into life this week.
Rooney, Menuhin, Heifetz - and the rest of the names  I have mentioned, were all artists of  endearing meaning and power to me. Most were  before me; however, the pages of history are replete with their gifts while still youngsters; attainments which beguiled and enhanced  my young years.
The power of Communication - what else, truly, is there, for the artist to engender?

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