On the Record - David Sywak










Violist David Sywak waxes poetic about his favorite Dallas baked goods and offers insight into the intriguing world of bows.



Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64

“My dad had that LP, he had a large classical record collection,  and I remember hearing it and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh! That is the most virtuosic, impeccable playing ever.  How does somebody play that beautifully that well.’  And I did’t really have a lot of experience, so the fact that it was David Oistrakh, one of the icons of violin playing, up there with Heifetz and Perlman and Milstein and those guys, that wasn’t as important as the rich, big sound and I was just impressed with the amazing virtuosity… It was definitely a motivator in terms of ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could do that one day.’”

Don Henley:  The Boys of Summer from “Building the Perfect Beast”

“I like [The Boys of Summer] in particular I think the older I get because it’s a great poetic reflection of your youth and about how things are remembered and how those memories and emotions are poignant always.  There’s a great line about the singer, or protagonist, is remembering a first love from the summer time and it’s years later.  It’s in the future and he’s driving on the road, he sees a Grateful Dead sticker on a Cadillac, really out of place, reminiscing, but he can’t forget that girl of his youth. The music is great.  It’s kind of haunting in a way, and I think the poetry is great, and it’s always resonated, maybe more the older I get.” 

Igor Stravinsky: Firebird Suite, VI. Berceuse and VII. Finale

“We played Firebird at all-state when I was a student in New York… It was really powerful, and just when the brass come in at the end of the Finale with this enormous wall of sound and this sort of chromatic rise while the string players are just playing as fast as they can in the tremolo section, it’s really visceral.  I mean, especially when you’re sitting right there in front of trombones and tuba and trumpets. You can almost feel it.”

Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3

“When you’re sitting in the orchestra, and the last movement of the Copland Symphony No. 3 begins with Fanfare for the Common Man, which is later pulled out as a separate piece, but that’s the last movement.  So there’s this huge trumpet call, and when the brass are playing that whole big brass chorale, again it’s one of these visceral things where you can sort of feel the sound pressure against your skin.”  

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