Saturday, May 23, 2009

After more than 30 years performing and coaching chamber music I find I learn more about the art from my young students. They have been trained to keep a responsive, lively and alert rhythm at all times -- literally, at every instant. Thus they respond effortlessly to one another's whims, errors, momentary insights. The result? They can't repeat themselves, they don't get bored, and it is always interesting to hear them surprise one another.

I am convinced that human interaction is written into the best ensemble music, vocal and instrumental.

Metronomic beats (the existence and desirability of which are highly questionable -- not just by me) are effective as a means or an excuse to avoid positive interaction with another person. But they are definitely not conducive either to good interpersonal relations or to real musical insight.