Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I once told the mother of a new student who was obviously a big achiever that music is not about achievement but about one's heart and one's soul. What does that mean?

It means that music is about paying attention in the way that attentiveness is the center of a thoughtful life. Being aware; caring about the aliveness of every sound, every reaction.

The student in question is thoroughly involved with music still, after more than twenty-five years.

Last night I heard Mozart's Piano Concerto in G in an unbelievably great performance by Piotr Anderszewski, whose aliveness in every tone, every possible connotation of every tone is as fresh as one imagines Mozart's to have been.

I told him afterward that that is the greatness of his playing: he plays one sound at a time with complete openness and honesty. "Of course," he replied.