Friday, June 14, 2013

Simplifying Everything In The Name of Achievement

Make a list of all the pieces you play:  all of them.
How many of them do you enjoy?
How many do you really get?

Are you ever surprised when you hear someone play a piece you thought you know?
Is that pleasureable or not?
If so, why? How?

The Past and Singularity

How ironic it is that the study of the music of the past is so taken up with carrying on traditions when the works that we seek to master are unique creations of singular minds!

I think of Bach's Two-Part Inventions, works of absolute genius written surely as puzzles for his extremely gifted oldest child, Wilhelm Friedemann, to figure out.  We are taught them as if they embody principles of good musical behavior while, in fact, they clearly do just the opposite.  They are filled with contradictions, teasings, musings, astonishments, all designed to stimulate a highly talented first son.  In the name of what exactly do we perpetuate the law and order approach?

Or take those incredible works of Mozart, those that are easy to play, the ones routinely assigned to young or inexperienced players: the Piano Sonata in C, K. 545; the G Minor Piano Quartet, K. 487. 

I cannot help but remark that, as a child, I was grabbed by singular sounds within Mozart piano works--not by the pieces as a whole but by individual moments that put me as if in direct contact with a kindred spirit.  I got them therefore I was not along in the universe.