Sunday, August 10, 2014

Listening Always for the Expected

While praising the extraordinary playing of an as-yet not well known pianist a prominent reviewer comments on positive aspects of the playing, then feels obliged to point out that the player makes mistakes.

Why should he care?  What does it matter?  If the playing is truly persuasive he should not hear the mistakes or, if he hears them, they should not distract from the music's real content.

Does he feel obliged to point out the errors because he knows other listeners will certainly have noted them and that, being a music critic, he can't be allowed to seem vulnerable or unknowledgeable?

Whatever the reason it is a loss.

I have always tried to play and to record in such a way as to challenge that quality of listening, which I abhor.

A colleague reacted to my Haydn / Bartok CD:  "There is no editing, so there must be mistakes?"  "Correct." 
"I don't hear them." 

Just what I wanted.