Monday, July 15, 2013

Again, Sound vs? Music

The question was posed on a recent chat group, whether booing of a first performance was a commentary on the playing rather than the piece, which implied the greater question of whether a piece of music has validity apart from its performance.

Curious question.  It used to be that performing and composing were pretty much the same impulse.

I'm all for getting that sense back into the training of musical people from day #1.  Now in the midst of a sons-of-Bach study I realize how little prepared I was for the genius of Chopin and of Ravel until swimming around in the semi-improvisatory worlds of W.F. and C.P.E. Bach.  It's not that I have an interpretation of their music; it's that I let it speak to me and, in so doing, hopefully make it speak to others as well.

So they have to be the same, the piece and the performance.  If they are not it is because the performer did not do the appropriate preparation.  Having done many unsuccessful performances of many works in the course of my lifetime I know all too well what that feels like and how risky it feels to step into unknown territory.