Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Poet Speaking

The trouble with music theory is that it often interferes with the fragile, vulnerable aspects of sound, apparent only to the unfettered ear: once an objective system of sound or function identification takes over, the details risk being lost.

This morning a student's halting but sensitive reading of Beethoven's Gminor Sonata, Op. 49, No.1 revealed more to me about the work than I had ever known. She heard and relished its strangeness in a way that eludes my theoretically educated mind.

The distraction of a theoretically educated mind has kept The Poet Speaks, from Schumann's Kinderszenen, from speaking to me. Until now. Years of listening to children have taught me the limitations of my over-trained ear.