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Great quotations: Jaques Barzun

A Minute with Miles

Words today from the great writer and critic Jacques Barzun. I’ve combined several related passages:

“Music is a medium through which certain unnamable experiences of life are exquisitely conveyed through equivalent sensations for the ear…

The order in which [the composer] puts things, the things he repeats and the things he avoids; the suggestions, emphases, and climaxes; the pace of his thought and the intensity of his will; the stops, the false starts, the crashes, and the silences – everything he does or leaves undone – is a signal that evokes in the listener the nameless features of life.”    “…All the arts concern themselves with one central subject matter, which is the stream of impressions, named and unnamed, that human beings call their life.”  The words of Jacques Barzun.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.