Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Conversing with Beethoven

It occurs to me that, though Artur Schnabel did us a great favor by introducing Beethoven piano sonatas onto the concert scene, it is time for us to outgrow the entire-evening-of-Beethoven-sonatas syndrome.

Why not entertain that great music in exchange with other compositions?  For example, the combination of the Op 10 No 3 with Debussy's Suite Bergamasque and with Brahms's Op. 39 Waltzes has been revelatory in relation to all three works. 

The performance is not about anything but poetry, and not in some flimsy artsy sense.  Sound; touch; immediacy.

Someone listening last night told me she was in tears during the Beethoven.  Whatever she was experiencing was coming straight from the medium of sound.  I do not entertain any emotion whatsoever when playing even the most emotionally charged music:  there simply isn't time.  Too much is happening to be distracted by a nameable state of mind.