Monday, April 15, 2013

Impromptu: A Musical Moment Under Another Name Perhaps

It is striking how removed from actual, close-up, live listening our culture has become.  As I recall the exciting CD of Maria Pires's playing I marvel at how close-up it feels, how little like something reproduced or reproduceable.

Having been trained to recognize forms we seem reluctant to let go of them and just listen, though by now several generations of contemporary composers have tried hard to get us to do just that.  Now that we have heard Schubert's G-flat Impromptu  can we really listen to it?

Today I am struck by the oddness of the composer's articulations: they certainly do not match the versions of the piece that I have heard!  I wonder if I can engage listeners in the unlikely proposition that they have never heard the piece before?