Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not a Governess of the Music

Well worth your time is the NPR (National Public Radio) Performance Today's interview with Alfred Brendel yesterday. Choice excerpt:

F.Childs: You say you are not a governess of the music, but you don't exactly treat the music like a governess either. You say the music tells you what to do, but it tells you something. It may tell someone else something different. What is that balance between the active and the passive as an interpretive artist?

A.Brendel.: Well, first of all, if a piece tells me what to do I am very lucky, then I am just striving to go where the piece tell me to go. Those are moments of bliss. But I am not telling the piece where it should be like. I try to understand what it is on its own terms. Each piece has its own structure and its own character, if it's a masterpiece. It's wonderful to occupy one's time finding out what the different structures and characters are.

and this:

"Brendel: In Mozart's keyboard works everything is exposed. There are relatively few notes and each of them counts. Not only that you find the right key, but that you give each key the right nuance, the right inflection. If you are not careful you fall into a trap. This is also why these pieces are relatively rarely performed. I think that most players shy away from them. They either don't see the complications and think the pieces are too easy, or they do see the complications and find them too difficult. I decided that I should tackle these sonatas because it will be too late if I don't do it soon."

Couldn't agree more!

Read the rest here.Performance Today is a real paradise on the radio dial!

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