Run! to see Seymour: An Introduction, Ethan Hawke’s film masterpiece

Seymour in scarf

I went! I cried! I applauded! Those of us immersed in the arts as students and teachers, felt especially validated.

On the East Coast, harpsichordist, Elaine Comparone was riveted to the Big Screen just as I nestled into a snug seat at the Albany, California Landmark Twin theater. (East Bay, California)

She perfectly summed up what seemed beyond words to express:

“I found it moving, touching and masterfully put together! How did you like that performance at the end that moved from his studio to Steinway Hall? Wonderful job of editing. And the camera work throughout was artistically first-rate—not gimmicky. The clip at the end of various musical performances was just the cherry on top. The part about his service in Korea and how he made the best of it was great. Also the reaction to his seeing the fawn at the warfront and thinking he had died and gone to heaven…I thought the whole thing was just wonderful! That young man who played the Rachmaninoff—-wow!! I loved it all. It deserves to be nominated for the Academy Award. I hope it wins! Kudos to Ethan Hawke for his fine work! And that Kimmelman, NYT Architecture editor and piano student, what a sweet, sensitive man!”

If some of these characters interwoven into a gorgeous mosaic sound unfamiliar, please satisfy your curiosity, and ingest 84 minutes of heavenly film work. A pleasurable afterglow will linger for days, weeks, months and years….

For me, it was a joyous cinematic journey in the good company of Jocel, Alana, and Bernie who generously shared their enthusiastic responses to Ethan’s treasured documentary.

Thanks to all!

NOTE: The photo I took, and gave to Seymour as a gift in 2012, sits on the wall of his apartment’s entry-way. It’s seen fleetingly mid-point in the movie.

houseboat on water


About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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22 Responses to Run! to see Seymour: An Introduction, Ethan Hawke’s film masterpiece

  1. Kevin B says:

    Hi. Nice review. What is the piece you are playing in the video? Quite beautiful.


  2. Kevin B says:

    I did, three times. I guess that qualifies as liking it? 😉 It inspired me to learn the Schumann Fantasie in C Op. 17 which is also in the film. I am going to take a lesson on it from Seymour in April. I guess I could ask him about the Prelude, but if you going to get the info on that, I would rather not trouble him, so I will email you separately. As you suggested, it is difficult to find…last night I searched and did not come up with anything. Thanks very much!


  3. I wish I knew.. Many times, transcriptions are not easy to access.


  4. Kevin B says:

    What I meant is that he knows about my review, but not that I am looking for the Bach-Friskin score.


  5. Thanks for this inspiring review, Shirley. I knew the film was out, but might not have gotten in gear in time to see the film in a theater.


  6. Kevin B is now in possession of the Bach-Friskin score. No problem!
    Carolyn B (who also saw the movie 3 or maybe 4 times)


    • andrys says:

      Carolyn and Shirley, I was at Amazon just now and was looking inside the book that can’t be had these days for less than $400 and as high as over $2,400+ (“With Your Own Two Hands”), by Seymour B. I was browsing through the “Look inside!” feature to see the content listing included and saw Carolyn’s name in the list of people who were of “inestimable help” to him!

      I’d say this would be a good time to get this out-of-print book into the hands of more teachers and students, Carolyn, via making a Kindle book from it, which would take maybe 3 days, and reach a LOT of people.

      The Friskin transcription is still in copyright in Canada and any transcription known to be written after 1921 is problematical for uploading to free-score sites in the U.S., especially when all rights aren’t cleared yet.

      Didn’t see the movie until last week and am still enjoying it in my mind.

      Enjoyed your use of the BWV 106 piano transcription in your video, Shirley. I first loved the original version for the two alternating alto recorders and chamber band, especially Jeffrey Thomas’ American Bach Soloists recording. Great sound! And, this piano transcription is beautifully pure sounding in Bernstein’s hands.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Manduca in Maine (Seymour’s literary reps and publisher) sell with Your Own Two Hands directly, and Seymour sent me the Bach Friskin Prelude if you or anyone else wants it. Nice hearing from you. I think the book will be reprinted now that the movie is out. I saw 4 times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • andrys says:

        Great to hear the print book is available directly — thanks for that information — although I personally wish for a Kindle version someday. I do have the Friskin, thanks! Loving it. I also like Seymour’s “Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr” at Youtube, which I first heard and Favorited about half a year ago after hearing umpteen other versions but liking that one the most.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, I sent it to him today.. Shirley


  8. Pingback: Love the Second Time Around: Seymour, An Introduction | Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

  9. Seymour, would be pleased to know you liked his Ich rug’ zu dir, Herr.”


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