In all the forty-five years that our Guarneri String Quartet performed in public, and during the nine years since we retired, I don’t believe I’ve dreamt of the quartet more than a handful of times. This might seem odd to string quartet aficionados who know how much must go into a performance: practice and more practice, discussion and disagreements, endless and often exhausting travel, and, finally the high bar we set for ourselves in performance itself. Lots to dream about, wouldn’t you think?
I wonder myself why I haven’t dreamt more often about our quartet. Perhaps it has to do with the nature of who the members of our group are and how we operate with one another. We are a rowdy bunch—like four opinionated brothers you might say—who, while maintaining a certain amount of respect and politeness in rehearsal, have no qualms about truth telling.
A most unprofessional explanation of my Guarneri-less sleep might be that our openness and frank criticism during rehearsals—for the good of the performance rather than to squabble with each other on a personal level—meant that each of us walked out of rehearsals relatively unencumbered by smoldering resentments or unresolved issues. And therefore presumably nothing of substance to dream about.
Several weeks ago, however, I did dream about the quartet…
Read on here.