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Richard Eric Worrell's Classical Moment


In the early 1970's, a few years before I enlisted in the Army, I was a teenager and an avid fan of most things guitar-related.  I'd purchased a solo ticket of Andres Segovia, performing at the Lincoln Philharmonic Theatre in NYC where I lived for the first 20 years of my life.

Attending the performance with a virtually gravity-defying, massive Afro, and dressed in a pair of custom made snakeskin boots, and a very Carnaby Street (brit mod) double-breasted jacket of black and red carpet-like tapestry, to say I stood out from the mostly well-heeled, very elegantly dressed fellow-attendees would be an understatement.

The World's Master Classical Guitarist took the stage for his solo recital, a tall man who stood erect, his physical appearance alternately looking like that of a world banker, and/or a massive human cello with glasses and a mop of white hair combed staight back. He spoke little, but upon taking the stage and receiving the welcoming applause, promptly performed with spellbinding clarity. His large meaty fingers picked, pressed, plucked and strummed his instrument with an almost casual seriousness; there was no struggle to tap into whatever mode or mood to articulate...  the music flowed, then roared... as might a river through a long, boulder strewn canyon, then across deep pools, over a deep waterfall, then back across pools and riffles, on and on, in pure acoustic clarity...  Masterfully.   Beautifully.   

Suddenly, the music stopped; while naught but an instant's pause, the audience (excepting me...) gave a prompt, thunderously rapturous applause, BUT... he hadn't finished the piece he was performing; The Master's hands were still upon his instrument.   His strumming hand's fingers raised ever so slightly, and in that crack of moment, literally, one could have heard a pin drop. Silence.  The applause, as though entirely on cue had stopped...   and The Master continued, playing through and finishing the sonnet he was performing.

My Classical Moment... one of those wonderfully seminal memories indelibly etched deep, deep into my psyche.

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