Can’t Understand: Talent, Knappertsbusch-Heldentenor, P-pitch, Clevenger

Dear New York Folks,

This is Jiwon.

Your Zukerman article prompts me to write another two stories.


Damn tired. I was not lazy, just sitting in front of the computer until my legs felt numb… since last Thursday. Finally tonight, I was able to go out to exercise until I felt dizzy with trembling legs. I will sleep after sending this one. I may be able to send another tomorrow night…

Story 1: Jacobs Theory (Done!)

Story 2: Who is my teacher? (Done!)

Story 3: What am I? (Done!)

Story 4: Things that I can not understand. (Today’s story.)

Story 5: Barenboim (Not even started… sic!)

Story 5+: Du Pre (Done???)

Story 5+: Bitch (Done???)

Story 5+: Zukerman, Barenboim’s carbon copy (Done!)

Story 5+: *** (Done!)

Story 5+: ???

Story 6: YOU (Draft in my brain.)

Story 7 or 8: The U.S.A. (Draft)

Story 4:

4-1. Things that I can not understand. (Revised on May 13, 2006)

How many musicians have I experienced throughout my life? Countless. How many “talented” musicians have I encountered since You-Know-When? I met some, for sure. What happened to them? What happened to me?

For a while, I was so happy to hunt out a real treasure that I never hesitated to envy their blessed talent with green eyes. I did it in a public place, of course. Then, whenever I brought his/her name into the light, he/she changed. Why all those heavenly talented guys suddenly start to sound hopeless right after I praise their performance?

I was forced to watch their bragging face, which was full of MUSIC, and their physical ability, which was full of SHIT. Then, I had to study my theory again, to figure out why such a great talent could produce such a hopeless sound.


My real problem was not their hopeless sound/music, but their blissful face. If they were born a real talent as I expected, those talented face should have been miserable with those miserable sound. My another problem was that after bragging their hopeless music, they never returned to their heydays.

For a while, I couldn’t understand why, but it was easy to analyze. It seems perhaps due to their aging body, and they never remember their physical ability of days/months/years ago. Then, I had to study my theory again, to figure out why such a great talent could produce such a hopeless sound.

Now, I know the answer. I hope you to find the same answer as mine.

There was no exception, and now, I am afraid to mention specific names in public. This is perhaps why my reaction only sounds cynical.

If my case is like this, what about Barenboim’s?

Bashkirova-Circle with the glib tongue that sounds polished. This is a great talent, anyway. Sometimes, I have pity on Daniel Barenboim, who had never been allowed to meet normal human beings since his thirty-something. Unlike me, however, Barenboim seems to enjoy his situation. So, what do I do?

4-2. Things that I can not understand.

How many musicians have I experienced throughout my life? Countless. How many “shit-like” musicians have I encountered since You-Know-When? What happened to me? What happened to them?

I grew up in a music society, where learning politics was more important than understanding music. Being a yes-man was the best solution. Or I had to sneak away until no one needed me. It was in America, that I learned how to insult those fucking barnacles, who desperately wanted to stick around me and tried to lead me in their favorite way.

I thought. If I openly insult them in the name of my notorious fame, they would be sick of me. I thought they would leave me alone.

They suddenly change.

They appear again, this time with an emotional face pretending to be full of MUSIC. They stick around me, anyway, begging me to understand their holy desire to make MUSIC.

I never understand.

Once they start their politics, or their favorite way of music making, don’t you think they should stick to their gun?

4-3. Things that I can not understand. (Revised on May 13, 2006)

Years ago, I found something from Yahoo. As I prepared my last message, I wanted to show you this. I’ve spent several weeks to find it, to no avail. It was in last year.  I am now too tired to do this again. I don’t care even if no one believes me.

I am not the one.

It was Hans Knappertsbusch who had predicted that there would be no Heldentenor after the 70s. Or that the tradition of Heldentenor would disappear during the 70s.

Whatever… I only blame my poor memory. He didn’t mean Lauritz Melchior and his aging in particular. I was listening to the radio, in which one anonymous voice was introduced. The quality of voice was so unique that I wanted to know more about that voice.

What I found was two exactly opposite opinions from Hans Knappertsbusch and Henry Fogel.

Now… you imagine the rest of the story.

I don’t care even if Henry Fogel practically rules over your music society behind the scene. Then what about maestros elsewhere, who can not live without Wagner? Wagner Specialists, who know nothing about the reason of Heldentenor?

I was so naive to believe that conductors like you-know-who are “openly” studying Wagner, because they just love this music drama. (I am not talking about Barenboim. I need to be fair this time!)

It took years for me to realize that Bayreuth and Israel are two of important cornerstones to start their international fame. Have you ever seen any maestros, Wagner specialist indeed, who can explain the reason of today’s Wagnerian voices?

Am I wrong?

Heldentenors are not on the endangered species list. This tribe has become extinct. I don’t mean to insult anyone at Bayreuth today, but something is going wrong.

Wagnerian voice doesn’t mean a big volume/(voice) erupted from the fat body. Whenever I watch the old docu films, my theory tells me so.

When I listen to the Wagnerian low voices, (I don’t care if it were bass-bariton or bariton. Perhaps, I need to know more about those roles. But something is sure…,) I hear the voice of Heldentenor dwell in their imagination. They sound like… that the reason of their existence is to support their Heldentenor’s appearance. It is not an one-dimensional voice. There are always something else behind their voice, in their imagination. That I say is a Heldentenor.

Then what about the voice of their Heldentenor?

In those days, Heldentenors were required to prove computer-like physical ability. They are like pumping machines. Their muscle movements look so accurate that sometimes I want to take the gauge of their each note, the air pressure inside their lung. Weirdly enough, not their voice but their marvelous muscles hook my attention.

When I listen to Wagner, it sometimes sounds boring, no matter what, and I even degrade the singers’ rank. But when I watch Wagner, especially the stage version, I get never bored. After the performance, my respect of the singers are skyrocketing.

If I still had a wish… If I were still allowed to have a dream,

I want to attend Heldentenor’s Lieder Recital. What about another Lieder Recital performed by his perfect partner, a dramatic soprano?

Listening to their powerful voices ornamented with intelligent interpretation,

Watching those human body’s magic, 

And studying more about musician’s physical ability with their photos-or-videos from the baby years.


It is an impossible dream, isn’t it?

4-4. Things that I can not understand.,,6-2156563,00.html,,59-2160326,00.html  

bla-bla-bla… so headache… It hooked me, but I soon gave up reading. Just headache! What I need from the brain doctors is this:

Can they make a specific device to explore the brain of Barenboim’s Angels? What is happening inside their brain when they dominate the stage with their brightly sparkling eyes and when happiness is shining on their faces? It’s the moment they destroy the entire concert, killing all the talents around them. I want to know what is happening at that moment, what is in there.

What means the perfect pitch, by the way? 

A perfect pitch should be a perfect pitch in any situation. (I am not a perfect pitch…) I’ve met many musicians who claimed that they were born a perfect pitch. Yet, I’ve never seen any musicians who play with perfect pitch in ensemble situation. Even those who used to brag about their doom to play in a perfect pitch have always been turned adrift with their over-tune playing as if to prove that oil and water never mix together in an ensemble situation. I’ve never seen those guys blend their pitch-performance with their ensemble partners.

I’ve never seen those guys play under-tuned. They were always over-tuned. Sometimes, they even hoped that they would sound luxurious after playing over-tune. So, I had to secretly pick up an electric tuner to check if they really played in a perfect pitch.

Whether or not their perfect pitch blended with other’s, it was all up to their “specific” sound. It had nothing to do with their perfect pitch in mother’s womb.

Well… Mozart’s mother didn’t listen to Mozart in order to give birth to baby Mozart. ^o^

Bach’s mother enjoyed Nothing-Bach to have a good prenatal effect on her unborn Bach. ^o^

It’s been years that my question about this perfect pitch started. I am still wondering. What really means the perfect pitch? Who are born a perfect pitch, which would perform it’s duty in any situation?

4-5. Things that I can not understand.

It is a famous story that Dale Clevenger, the principal horn of the CSO, hardly appreciated his old ensemble members, from Donald Peck to Ray Stil. I even heard him insulting those names in a public place, especially at the music school. Then I also heard that the CSO’s horn principal didn’t like to participate in the wind ensembles, but only wanted to play with the strings.

It was OK. It is still OK.

What is not OK is that

Dale Clevenger is now the best friend of his new oboe, whose sound functions no different from his enemy. (His sound itself is better than his senior’s? I don’t think so.)

His another best friend, a new flute, has yet performed half of his duty, which Clevenger’s enemy had perfectly carried out during his heydays.

They just sound… like fabulous… why do you think so? (More expensive instrument doesn’t mean better music, by the way.)

“My Alice was a good player before she came to me.”

I also heard that Clevenger used to beg some foreign musicians to let his Alice get in their ensemble concert with him. (Who told me so? I can tell his name if you want.)

Sometimes, I think that Clevenger’s brain lacks something. Do they call him a musician?

Dale Clevenger is now an active lecturer in Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival. There must be reasons. I seem to know it, though I can never understand it.

In some way, Clevenger was different from usual foreign teachers, who were hunger for the American money from the Korean students. What he really wanted was a power, rather than money itself. (Power? Or authority? Or influence? Or quality that is not quantity?)

Now, he even seemed to lose it. 10 years later, who would respect him as a real teacher, even in the Middle East? I am real curious.

You know,

I respect my enemy, if he stick to his gun throughout his life. Whether I accept him as my friend or not is another matter. I respect him, anyway, though he forever remains as my enemy.

Poor guy…

Real poor guy, because I know why none of American brass players has named him a “mentor”.

To be continued…

Sincerely yours,



I was looking for one missing article. With “Barenboim & genero…” on the search button, this is what I found, instead. “Two or three times in 2003, I had to stop playing. It got to the point where I couldn’t afford it, even with the symphony’s salary, which is generous. There are things insurance won’t cover, like Alexander technique and massage,” said Klein.

Ever since I read interesting news to report his physical disability, I’ve wanted to study his case. Now, this article is helping my analysis. I promise. Alexander technique and massage won’t help him, after all. I mean… over the long run. (What about the pianist Mr. Poetic, by the way? Is he OK now, after canceling his recitals due to the finger-something? I forgot his name, just remember his useless fats around the important pianist-muscles…)

By the time I left Chicago, he was about to explore a new sound, but then, your “impotent” Chicago friend constantly reported that he had returned to his original place. This is how I was able to imagine the present+future situation of Barenboim’s young CSO, and couple of photos of his brass section have confirmed my thoughts.

I am not sure if I want to help his recovery. He is Dale Clevenger’s man, after all. Clevenger’s horn maker told me, “I can not make this instrument for you. I have to serve Dale Clevenger.”

What can I do? Furthermore, he is soon going to be a dearest friend of Artistic Director of Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival. It’s the end of the story. After all, Dale Clevenger will take care of him. After all, his ensemble with Clevenger’s “specific” sound won’t help him to develop healthier sound: Ha-Ha-Ha ^o^

After all, I should take care of all my problems first… I say… “Good Luck!”


If he asks my advice after his involvement in Bashkirova Circle, I would say, “Fuck off!”

(Originally written on May 13, 2006)

Dear New York Folks,

This is Jiwon.

I am drunk. I hate this work. Tonight, I wanted to do what I had to do couple of days ago. Something was wrong with my exercise last time, and it took couple of more days to restore me. Why do you think I had to give up last year?

1. The stories that I am sending now are NOT the real reason.

2. I just hate to talk. Talking hurts my eyes, and I can not sleep. But I have to talk, talk, and talk all day to “train” my kids, whose native talents no one was successful in recognizing. How many experts are working in the field of kids education? I don’t understand why on one still knows how to “train” those kids. After spending a day with too much talking, all I had to do was just lying in my bed to wait for the next day. I even tried to work in the morning. But I am the one who never want to wake up in the morning. I was destined to fail.

3. While studying English with the kids only, my writing skills were declining. I have no talent for languages. I gave up English during my high school days, and it was real hard to get a TOEFL score high enough to get an admission from the American school. My English started to grow during my thirties when I realized that there was a beauty in this language… Anyways… I was afraid of writing something in English again.  

4. To cure my sore eyes, I started a “specific” exercise. It was successful for a while, but it eventually turned out to be useless. It took several months “again” to “lose” all those unnecessary muscles, which were enough good to cure my sore eyes.

I am fine now. I just hate this work. I want to finish it as soon as possible.  Barenboim Takes On Role at La Scala in Milan (May 10, 2006)


It reminds me all the happenings years ago.

1. I worked so hard for this fucking Jewish pig.

2. All the critics “had to” quit criticizing this musician. They even started to praise XYZ about maestro Daniel Barenboim.

3. All those fucking musicians had flocked to Barenboim, who was just happy to protect them from my public insult.

4. All my hard working eventually made this Russian bitch a German Muse.

5. Now, a pianist/conductor Barenboim never sounds like my favorite. It never sounds like academically valuable.

So, does Barenboim now want to ruin another part of European music with his favorite German clarinet sound? Whatever… none of my business. I don’t want to change my original plan to write my stories. Which means… no more need to wander around the forums to read about this subject. I already did too much during last weekend. This strong liqueur makes me feel so good… I want to sleep. I will drink tomorrow night again.

See you tomorrow.

Sincerely yours,



4-1. Things that I can not understand. (Revised.)

4-3. Things that I can not understand. (Revised.)

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