Are You a Slave to the Score?

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Rognvald
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Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Rognvald » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm

In the New York Times obituary, November 6, 1989, for the great classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz, he once said " The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument - a singing tone is made up of shadows and colors and contrast. The secret lies mainly in contrasts." He also said "the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back." How many musicians today employ this manner? How many musicians today are enslaved to the little black dots on the page and dare not alter a voicing, a dynamic and play a piece with little or no tonal variations and call it music? Why is it so common to attend a CG concert and listen to a monotone performance of a piece that has the potential for great beauty? What is wrong with YTK guitar pedagogy that we are producing so many lifeless players that might as well be playing a droning typewriter on stage as the last recent CG concert I attended? Am I living in an inescapable time warp in another galaxy or do others see this as well? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Todd Tipton
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Todd Tipton » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:24 am

To quote Jeff Van, "even the composer sometimes doesn't know what he wants." Too many DON'T see behind the notes. If something was written by the composer, it is for a reason. Sometimes, it is necessary to figure out what the composer intended rather than what they actually wrote. And sometimes, it is ambiguous. Regardless, other clues are found everywhere in the music in how best to approach something. They very well may be different answers from different players. What is written in the score is just a less detailed approximation of the music. And I think too many players don't take enough liberties in their interpretations. Whether real or imagined, the investigation of the INTENT is important. And it helps me to remember that all good music, all good performers, all good full programs, all good sections of a piece, etc. provide a great balance of unity and contrast. The unity and contrast is often a clue in providing a good interpretation.

My two cents.
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PeteJ
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by PeteJ » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:40 pm

Rognvald - I'd agree with your general sentiment. Do you have a link to a guitarist that gets your approval as an interpreter?

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by bear » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Some time ago, I was playing a piece and discovered that I had been playing it "wrong" by adding an extra note to a chord. I still play it that way because to my ear, it sounds better.
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by JohnB » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:45 pm

In general, not particularly about the classical guitar but classical recital performers in general, one of the "problems" is the recording industry and the easy availability of recorded performances has tended to standardise interpretations within much narrower boundaries than used to be the case during the majority of Horowitz's career. Because recordings can be played repeatedly they encourage note perfect technical accuracy, rather than the inspiration of the moment, the feeling that music is almost being created in the moment, that you find in the live performances of Horowitz and, say, Shura Cherkassky (another great pianist, also born in the Ukraine).

Having said that there are some wonderful pianists around these days. Wonderful, but in a different way.

Please forgive talking about pianists, rather than guitarists - but I thought it interesting.

Most of us know the Mertz transcription of Schubert's beautiful "Stanchen" (originally for voice and piano). Out of curiosity I searched out three YouTube performances of Liszt's transcription for piano solo:

Horowitz
Every note and phrase seems alive and grabs the attention. His control of nuance and touch is awe inspiring. That said, some parts of the performance begin to jarr with me - he plays up to the "grand manner" just a bit too much for me later on in this particular performance. (I always feel that Schubert needs some subtlety, with deeper thoughts/emotions lying just below the surface as well being expressed overtly.)

Youtube


Perahia (one of the leading pianists of the 2nd half of the 20th century)

Youtube


Khatia Buniatishvili (one of the current crop of younger established pianists)

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Rasputin
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:20 pm

JohnB wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:45 pm
In general, not particularly about the classical guitar but classical recital performers in general, one of the "problems" is the recording industry and the easy availability of recorded performances has tended to standardise interpretations within much narrower boundaries than used to be the case during the majority of Horowitz's career. Because recordings can be played repeatedly they encourage note perfect technical accuracy, rather than the inspiration of the moment, the feeling that music is almost being created in the moment, that you find in the live performances of Horowitz and, say, Shura Cherkassky (another great pianist, also born in the Ukraine).
It's hard to be sure but my impression is that there has indeed been a shift towards more conservative interpretations. I think you are right to point to the availability of recordings as a key driver of this change. I've always found it hard to swallow the idea - often between the lines of these discussions - that the music teachers of the last two or three generations were more prim and proper than their Victorian and Edwardian counterparts.

In electric guitar you have a situation where there is almost always a definitive recorded performance and the point of notation is to help people replicate it. Perhaps what has happened in the classical world is a shift to something a bit more like that. As we know, the notation does not capture every performance detail, whereas a recording inevitably does - so the more we move towards a paradigm where the recording is definitive, the less interpretive freedom we have. I can also see that because we hear recordings all the time, we may to hold live performances up to technical standards that are not very realistic, and that this may force people to play more conservatively. I think that is a pretty minor factor though, so see the two things as more separate that the quote above implies.

Having said all that, it seems to me that there is a wide range of different interpretations on offer - I definitely do not find that all guitarists sound the same.

I don't find the concept of the composer's intention very helpful, for a few reasons. Interpretation is basically a process of noticing things of interest in the music and trying to relate them to each other to form a coherent whole. Perhaps some people like to equate the musical vision they come up with this way with the composer's intention, but we rarely have any way to check whether it really is, and I'm not sure we would care much if it turned out not to be. Say I want to hear Capricho Arabe *this* way, and some Genie transports me back to Tarrega's study where he explains that he meant it to go *that* way. I might try his way out of respect - undoubtedly would, in fact - but in the end I'm going to go with whatever sounds best to me, regardless of the composer's intention.

I think there are deeper problems with the concept itself, but that's a different thread really.

To my mind there is a conflict between saying that we mustn't be slaves and must put our own stamp on everything, and saying that we must work out what the composer's intention was and realise it. Since this way of speaking gives a lot of deference to the composer, it seems reasonable to suppose that the intention we have in mind does specify every detail of performance, unlike the score - but in that case it denies us our own voice, and then what's the point?

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:33 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:40 pm
Rognvald - I'd agree with your general sentiment. Do you have a link to a guitarist that gets your approval as an interpreter?
Pete,
Here's one of my favorite guitarists, Yamandu Costa, who in many ways defies categories. Look at some of his music on YT. He is a master of interpretation. Hope you enjoy. https://youtu.be/9nIJ7HSR7Cw Playing again . . . Rognvald.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Rognvald
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm

Outstanding ideas in regards to the performance of classical pieces by the repondents. I also believe, as John has mentioned, that the age of recording has effected the way in which players perform today. It suggests that there is one sacrosanct rendition that sets the bar for a performance and anything that deviates from it is somehow not "up to par." But, if that is the case with some performers, we are creating a generation of musical automatons enslaved to an idiom or worse . . . music devoid of personality. And, in regards to Horowitz's interpretation of Standchen, why should you be bound to that interpretation when your inner voice and personality hears it differently? I completely agree. And, when Todd remarks that some performers cannot see beyond the notes, is this not a fault of CG pedagogy today and if not, why is it so prevalent? Why not start beginning students who are still struggling with technique on the road to a personal voice? If not now, then when? And, when Rasputin speaks about "our own voice," this has been my goal since the first time I picked up a musical instrument. If it is not your voice, then what is the point of playing? It would be analogous to being born at birth with a computer activated voice that sounded exactly like everyone else's voice--perhaps a vision of a world yet to come. There are certainly CG's today that have a unique voice: Eduardo Fernandez, Roland Dyens, Marcel Dylla, Fabio Zanon, The Assad Brothers and Ricardo Gallen are some of my favorites and perhaps one of the most unique guitarists I have ever heard--Yamandu Costa-- who, to me, is the embodiment of creative expression. So, when I ask "Are you a slave to the score?' I'm really asking when you look at a piece of music, do you try to hear the voice of the composer? And, if not, why? A musical composition is a starting point for exploration. It's not just a gymnastic exercise in playing the notes correctly at a specified tempo with strict adherence to the written dynamics. If it is a composition that expresses love, pain, pastoral beauty, joy . . isn't your performance a reflection of your understanding of these human emotions? Musical performance should not be equated with solving an algebraic equation. It is, for better or worse, a picture of your soul. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm
In the New York Times obituary, November 6, 1989, for the great classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz, he once said " The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument - a singing tone is made up of shadows and colors and contrast. The secret lies mainly in contrasts." He also said "the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back." How many musicians today employ this manner? How many musicians today are enslaved to the little black dots on the page and dare not alter a voicing, a dynamic and play a piece with little or no tonal variations and call it music? Why is it so common to attend a CG concert and listen to a monotone performance of a piece that has the potential for great beauty? What is wrong with YTK guitar pedagogy that we are producing so many lifeless players that might as well be playing a droning typewriter on stage as the last recent CG concert I attended? Am I living in an inescapable time warp in another galaxy or do others see this as well? Playing again . . . Rognvald
score? -
no.
scores are just texts which describe great Poetry, love and death, Passions etc.
problem is in pressure... endless pressure on any musician who would com through decades of academical education...
main means of this education are submission, repetition of someone else interpretation.
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
who would follow all rules and regulations and do not break taboos...
that is why you hear what you hear...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:59 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm
In the New York Times obituary, November 6, 1989, for the great classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz, he once said " The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument - a singing tone is made up of shadows and colors and contrast. The secret lies mainly in contrasts." He also said "the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back." How many musicians today employ this manner? How many musicians today are enslaved to the little black dots on the page and dare not alter a voicing, a dynamic and play a piece with little or no tonal variations and call it music? Why is it so common to attend a CG concert and listen to a monotone performance of a piece that has the potential for great beauty? What is wrong with YTK guitar pedagogy that we are producing so many lifeless players that might as well be playing a droning typewriter on stage as the last recent CG concert I attended? Am I living in an inescapable time warp in another galaxy or do others see this as well? Playing again . . . Rognvald
score? -
no.
scores are just texts which describe great Poetry, love and death, Passions etc.
problem is in pressure... endless pressure on any musician who would com through decades of academical education...
main means of this education are submission, repetition of someone else interpretation.
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
who would follow all rules and regulations and do not break taboos...
that is why you hear what you hear...


I'll toast a double Martini to these remarks, Andrei . . . and of course, Russian Standard! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

mainterm
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by mainterm » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:22 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 pm
score? -
no.
scores are just texts which describe great Poetry, love and death, Passions etc.
problem is in pressure... endless pressure on any musician who would com through decades of academical education...
main means of this education are submission, repetition of someone else interpretation.
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
who would follow all rules and regulations and do not break taboos...
that is why you hear what you hear...
Having come up through academic institutions, I agree in many ways with this sentiment. However...
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
My experience differed in the following way: were I to present original musical ideas in my interpretation, be able to support them with aesthetic or even logical arguments, my teacher would support me regardless - even if these ideas directly contradicted or could be seen as competitive with theirs.

On the other hand I watched as my teacher would relentlessly encourage (often nearly to the point of forcing) students to interpret passages or entire pieces precisely as the teacher had.

In my view this was because these students didn't have their own ideas, or they did and the ideas weren't complete, or the ideas were there but the confidence to make them happen prevented them from coming out. Sometimes the ideas were there, but they just weren't good ideas.

And it was only in the absence of a clear way forward for the teacher to bring forth these nascent interpretations and fully form them that a "standard way" was enforced.

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:59 pm

mainterm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:22 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 pm
score? -
no.
scores are just texts which describe great Poetry, love and death, Passions etc.
problem is in pressure... endless pressure on any musician who would com through decades of academical education...
main means of this education are submission, repetition of someone else interpretation.
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
who would follow all rules and regulations and do not break taboos...
that is why you hear what you hear...
Having come up through academic institutions, I agree in many ways with this sentiment. However...
the winner there is one who would succeed repeating a teacher, a standard way.
My experience differed in the following way: were I to present original musical ideas in my interpretation, be able to support them with aesthetic or even logical arguments, my teacher would support me regardless - even if these ideas directly contradicted or could be seen as competitive with theirs.

On the other hand I watched as my teacher would relentlessly encourage (often nearly to the point of forcing) students to interpret passages or entire pieces precisely as the teacher had.

In my view this was because these students didn't have their own ideas, or they did and the ideas weren't complete, or the ideas were there but the confidence to make them happen prevented them from coming out. Sometimes the ideas were there, but they just weren't good ideas.

And it was only in the absence of a clear way forward for the teacher to bring forth these nascent interpretations and fully form them that a "standard way" was enforced.
So "or the ideas were there but the confidence to make them happen prevented them from coming out. Sometimes the ideas were there, but they just weren't good ideas."
Yes it could be that... or... it could be just certain judgement from certain point of view...
and regardless of value - this way is the way of submission.
And yes! It is true - there are many many who want to submit - our society as a whole function on certain model which expect submission as a natural part of structure.
But Art as a free way of expressing personality and submission are natural enemies...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Todd Tipton » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 am

Rognvald wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm
And, when Todd remarks that some performers cannot see beyond the notes, is this not a fault of CG pedagogy today and if not, why is it so prevalent? Why not start beginning students who are still struggling with technique on the road to a personal voice? If not now, then when?
Amen! I'd like to share a couple of stories from my past; I've always been very consistent in having to learn things the hard way, and have learned most of what I know by my own past mistakes.

Early in my undergraduate degree, I entered a concerto competition at my school. I believe I performed one of Carulli's lesser known concerti. I nailed it. No, I mean I REALLY nailed it! I knew that piece like the back of my hand. Further, it was one of those rare points where my nerves didn't overtake me. It was some of my best playing at the time. I also remember there were exactly 13 of us. Over the weekend, I waited in anticipation for the results that would be posted Monday morning. With excitement, the first thing I did that Monday morning was go see the posted results:

There was first place. I didn't get it.

There was second place. I didn't get it.

There was third place. I didn't get it.

There was even fourth place. I didn't get it.

The judges must have had a very difficult time in this competition. There were 13 contestants and 4 prizes awarded. In spite of that, five more students received honorable mention. I wasn't one of them.

Wow. That was a really low blow. I didn't understand what the problem was. I even arrogantly went to one of the judges to ask what the problem was. They were nice. They were generous. They tried to tell me. Because of my asking, they even offered to spend time with me and help me. I didn't understand what they were telling me.

Now, I know EXACTLY what the problem was. I didn't know anything about music.

Yes, that was the punchline. I will repeat: I didn't know anything about music. And what was worse, I didn't know that I didn't know.

This leads me to my next story. One of my most rewarding classes in undergrad was a form and analysis class. "Unfortunately" the theory professor who was supposed to teach the class was on sabbatical. The school got a composer in residence to teach the class the semester I took it. That was where I really learned about music. That jump-started my investigation into interpreting music. And the amazing thing was that the professor rarely talked about and harmonic analysis if ever. He talked about something far grander. We studied a few pieces by Bach, Debussy, Benedetto Marcello, Stravinksky, Brahms, Beethoven, and lots more. I think the average Joe off the street could have walked in that class and understood everything that was being taught. And out of context, a student might make the mistake of thinking the professor was talking about a painting, or perhaps a novel. And comedy. We talked a lot about comedy.

How could I sum that class up in a short paragraph? The class studied the balance of unity and contrast in compositions. The class studied how a composer rations their material, giving the listener the least amount they can get away with managed to "keep the ball in the air." And at just the right time, the listener is surprised.

This one class of mine was a game changer for me. It changed my outlook on music and how I interpreted it. It is hard to explain, but it is as if everything he taught was the glue that holds it all together, yet no one talked about the glue before. It was a revelation. You don't know what you don't know...And I didn't know that I didn't know it. Until that class.

Decades later, I am still inspired by that class. And in my studio, students begin learning interpretation early on. Even in preliminary repertoire students are learning how to play expressively. Of course they are learning about contrast, phrasing, rhythmic and melodic attraction, note grouping, dynamics, etc. While those things are certainly necessary, I show them something FAR more important. I TALK about the piece not unlike that composer in residence decades ago. Gradually, I get students to start learning how to do it on their own.

I think there are a lot of students out there, my former self included, who might understand some of the specifics, they might understand the nuts and bolts. But to step back from the piece and see the whole. To break the piece down in the same way one might break down a novel. To see the foreground. The background. The middle ground. To me, that really gets into the exciting role of interpreter and performer. And perhaps, that is more what I meant when I talked about investigating the composer's intent.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:52 am

Well its an interesting question Rognvald not least because it invites interpretation in itself; are you asking me if I personally am slave to the score, are people in general slaves, is the score or behind it the composer, a slave-master...? is the question or the questioner a master not to be questioned?

The simplest answer is that different people like different things; perhaps other people see things differently from you Rognvald and do not hear performances that you feel are lifeless to be such. The obvious chalk vs cheese dichotomy is probably Bream vs Williams - needless to say, each has their detractors and admirers. Indeed, if a performer has attained a high standard in their field, presumably they like the way they communicate their art, and if that is too dry and mechanical for some, they prefer that to ruining it (in their presumed view) by taking a different approach.

Certainly, if your idol of creative expression is in the video you cited, I have to fear that indeed you are indeed off in another galaxy and while you are very welcome here in the galaxy I inhabit, I'm not sure your expressed views on the artistic values we have here have much traction. I have too much respect for other tastes, and too little appetite for argument, to express a view about the video's content, but I am sure you can hazard a guess or two.

Others have already unpacked various issues, so I'd only add one or two. Firstly, I think its is a false connection to link together changes to "a voicing, a dynamic" and "little or no tonal variations". It is one thing to venture to change the composer's direct instructions, where they are clear, and quite another to play with or without tonal variety. Not least, the latter is very subjective; perhaps there is tonal variety, but just not enough to satisfy you personally. But in what strange world is it a problem to respect a composer's text, indeed, a virtue to undermine it? I tend to have the assumption that any decent composer is/was a far better musician than I am, and if I am going to fiddle with their work I had darn well better have extremely good reasons to do so. Certainly, it does not make me big or clever just because I can move notes around in a chord or contradict a dynamic without the sky falling on my head. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that most performers do not do such a thing (hardly ever!) is because they happen to agree that the composer knew what they were doing, had already thought out the best option and it would be dumb to disagree for the sake of it, to prove some notion of artistic independence or to please somebody with, er, distinctive musical values.

One thing that has I think not been expressed, and which I think you are missing, is that of the evolution of style. Horowitz was a great exponent of a particular style, one that belonged to its time - Segovia was another fine example in his way. If players and audiences really wanted that style to persist, I would assume it would return. But by and large they don't and it hasn't. And the more mainstream guitarists you cite are in general 'just' really good examples of fine artists, others would cite doubtless them, and others, but in general their style has little to do with the grand manner of Horowitz. So them I am rather puzzled, because perhaps you do belong in this galaxy after all, certainly I have little problem with any of them (Fabio played my concerto after all) - and you just have some wanderlust, which is perfectly good because we are all allowed our variety, but then, why the question in the first place? Tastes vary. Perceptions vary. Yours seem to be for strong musical flavours. Others (like to think they) have more subtle degrees of appreciation.
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Re: Are You a Slave to the Score?

Post by Fretful » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:01 am

Rognvald wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm
How many musicians today employ this manner? How many musicians today are enslaved to the little black dots on the page and dare not alter a voicing, a dynamic and play a piece with little or no tonal variations and call it music?
Yours is a fascinating argument to which there really is no fixed solution, because the answer depends entirely on your allegiances. This is further complicated by the fact that if your allegiances are to the paying public, you have no way of knowing what it is exactly that the public actually wants from you. Horowitz is an excellent case in point. I heard him at the RFH (playing his own Steinway) and, to this day, I couldn’t care less how strict or respectful he was to the manuscripts, and I can remember with incredible clarity and vividness the absolute magic with which he bent the keyboard to his will, producing sounds of a fluidity I had not heard before and have not heard since. However, strangely, I find some other brilliant contemporary pianists almost intolerable. Funnily enough, this morning, at around 4:30 am, some guitarists were playing and drinking and chatting, and one of them referred to Segovia as a player who could be quite “crass” (!). Well, I understand what was meant, but when I look back to some of Segovia’s concerts, I have that same Proustian feeling of an experience which, although irretrievably lost, is still present with breath-taking immediacy and enriches my perception of the treasured possibilities offered by a good guitar ; but there is no question that, whenever I went to see him, I heard Segovia, the whole Segovia, and nothing but Segovia ; Scarlatti, I never heard ; Bach, I never heard. Or do I say this only because I have a preconceived idea of what Bach and Scarlatti should sound like ? Yes! But that concept was different in the 1920’s, and it will be different again in the 2020’s. So, we are back to allegiances ; when I play Bach to myself, I play him as I jolly well like, and if I feel like sounding too fruity of a morning, that’s what I’ll do, and I’ll enjoy it! However, if I were to play Bach to a public who have paid good money to hear Bach, then I’ll consider - partly through scholarship, partly through accepted critical analysis of the epoch - what their expectations might be, or to put it crassly, what it is they are paying for ; a tricky question, because how do I know whether they have come to hear Bach or whether they have come to hear me, or whether they have brought a child along to show it how Bach should be played on the guitar. Perhaps there is in all this a bit of a misnomer, though, when one talks of “interpreters” ; the verb “interpret” is too prone to interpretations, I think we are “expressers”, and how much we express is partly a matter of good taste, and that would have to include an audience’s good taste which, some would argue, is nowadays as elusive as Hamlet’s proverbial honest man who, allegedly, would only be one man picked out of ten thousand! Ultimately, whatever you do (provided you are a serious professional [which I happen to know you are]) some will like it and some will like it NOT! ... “To thine own self be true, thou canst not then be false to any man”. The rest is silence ... or noise ... take your pick.

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