Friday, March 28, 2014

Back to Beats and Beethoven

Musical training seems to involve proving that one can be as convincingly pedestrian as possible:  All the right beats in all the right places.

That leads to the current lack of interest in Beethoven sonatas.  After sitting through countless student recitals which resemble nothing so much as mechanical repetitions of reliable downbeats how can anyone maintain that there is the slightest bit of anything interesting in this repertoire?

I have to recall that after sitting through countless such mechanical repetitions of Haydn sonatas I threw into the trash every note of his that I possessed--literally every note.  How could anything be more demeaning than that music?

Haydn was required repertoire in the conservatory at which I taught for one semester--my only semester of teaching in such an environment.  Are the teachers who require such mindlessness ever held accountable for the damage they wreak upon us mortals and upon those immortals?

An unusually candid recent conservatory graduate will come back to hear one of my Beethoven performances though he has confided to me that he does not find Beethoven sonatas interesting as a genre.  But he is coming back for more... hmmm.... could that be you?