Thursday, September 13, 2012

You, the Listener

Last night I played, for the first time in my life, Schumann's Scenes of Childhood.  I have never enjoyed listening to it, except for the live recording of Horowitz's last Vienna recital, which I tuned into by accident one afternoon.  So it was as much a test of my listening as of my playing.

Everyone here participated in the listening, most unmistakably.  In allowing those fragile sounds to penetrate fully, each on its own terms, I was sharing with each person the power of paying undivided attention to music at its purest--i.e., never before listened to, completely fresh, and not to be repeated.

In thanking the audience I was expressing gratitude that they would come into an intimate space and allow themselves to be absorbed in a performance that would be impossible in a concert hall, and that cannot be accessed by flipping a switch.