Saturday, April 20, 2013

Singularity: Was it Ever in Fashion?

Given the level of musical conformity that surrounds us it is hard to imagine just how singular the people and the sensibilities were that composed stuff we take for granted as being playable by ten-year-olds.

Schubert's music is a case in point.  Last night by chance I heard snippets of an old recording of Rubinstein playing a minuet movement from a Schubert sonata.  I had to turn it off not because of the playing, but because it seemed unreal that the sound was so sterile:  I know he didn't play like that!  Somewhere in between his playing and the commercially released product the sound got cleaned up.

That cleaning up process corresponds to the notated aspects of the musical score which, being discreet in terms of ink and shapes on the page, encourage corresponding attitudes, no matter how inappropriate.

Along with this super-cleanliness goes an assumption of predictability, good behavior.  You can have it.