Would You Recognize Beauty?

Based on this test, I probably wouldn’t.

I probably would have been just like all these poor saps that walked right by this guy. I hope that I (at least) would have given a buck or some change…but there are certainly many times when I would not have even broken my stride.

After all, I never get to public transit stations “early”. With my train approaching the station, and me just arriving, and the next train some 30 minutes to an hour off, would I have skipped the train to take in the free concert?

When the other option is making it home in time for dinner with my wife and kids? Or going to a job where I am always behind and every second counts? Would I have stopped to listen to the music?

Probably not.

After reading this, will I now slow down, or egad, pause? Or, at least, break stride? You bet — or at least — I hope so.

Below is 35 seconds of Joshua Bell (one of the world’s best violinists) playing Bach’s Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 in D Minor (one of the loveliest and perhaps most difficult solo violin pieces) a mere three days after a sold-out concert at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall (where so-so tickets sold for $100) whilst posing as a mere street musician.

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Yes, he is playing a violin worth $3.5 million.

And yes, you guessed it, virtually no one paid any attention.

It’s a crying shame…and yes, if I were there that day, I would have probably walked right on by.

What about you?

UPDATE: Below is the whole video in (mostly) time elapsed fast-forward. In particular, near the end, I commend you to watch the one and only person that recognized Joshua Bell. She stands firmly 10 feet away (by the yellow “caution — wet floor” sign) while nearly everyone else passes right on by. She saw him in concert a mere three weeks earlier. I wonder how many others also saw him in concert before. I wonder how many have seen the movie “The Red Violin” (Joshua Bell plays all of the violin pieces — you know…those that won it an Oscar for best music). I wonder…I wonder.

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via PhotoMatt.