|Why are Donald Barra's performances so extraordinary? And why are they lauded by musical professionals and music lovers alike?
The reason is simple: Barra is an expert on the nature of musical communication. He understands that music is not simply a collection of notes, that performance is not merely a technical exercise. Rather, music is a living force. It is a dynamic event. It must grow, expand, climax, reverberate, fulfill… It must come alive in the heart and mind of the listener. In the words of psychologist Abraham Maslow, the musical experience must become a peak experience.
Because he understands the psychological basis of the listener's response, Barra is able to shape the dynamic structure of compositions to reinforce this experience. In fact he "wrote the book" on the subject!
Barra is author of a treatise on musical performance that has been studied by students and professionals throughout the United States and abroad. His text, entitled The Dynamic Performance; a Performer's Guide to Musical Expression and Interpretation (Prentice Hall, 1983) has become a standard in the field.
Barra's doctoral studies at Columbia University (and his dissertation, entitled Listening and the Aesthetic Experience) are the basis for his book, and for his extraordinary understanding of the nature of musical interpretation.
But don't take our word for it. Read what other extraordinary performers have had to say about his book:
"Thank goodness for people like Don Barra who, in moments of reflection, can see clearly to help us grasp and understand what these great musical creators brought forth in their greatest moments." Loren Hollander, international piano soloist
"Bravo…I fear too few musicians today have learned what you so clearly and beautifully put forward here. I offer my sincere congratulations." Misha Dichter, international piano soloist
"This excellent book has tremendous focus in articulating every detail of our elusive art. This work is an invaluable study for student and professional alike and will prove to be a lasting enrichment to the musical world." Eugene Fodor, international violin soloist
Yehudi Menuhin was so impressed that he wrote this extraordinary introduction: