Saturday, January 23, 2010

If exuberance and drunkenness release us from inhibitions, they release us also from hangups about technical perfection. Perhaps that's why some of the most difficult passages in music must have been conceived as expressions of these extreme states of mind and body.

I have suggested as much to players faced with these challenges only to be answered with a dull stare, as if to say, "You must be kidding." But what if Schumann is kidding? Or Schubert? or Brahms?