Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recently I played a program tailor-made for an audience of octogenarians, a program made up entirely of pieces we had all studied sixty years ago. They were stunned to hear this music taken seriously.

The point I stress is that they (read, we) as children were not taken seriously. That great music was assigned to us because it was supposedly easy to play. If you show me anyone who can play octave chords in both hands ppp (as in the Rachmaninoff C# minor Prelude) easily I will fall over. If you find anyone who claims they can play the scales in Mozart's C major Sonata K. 545 effortlessly I will find it hard to believe.

Our feelings about the music were not considered. The possibility that the music might have real content did not enter into discussion. Was I the only one who felt humiliated by feeling wretched about these assignments?