266 • Not how, but why!

Sometimes the sound (balance, colors, transparency, gesture) of a musician is purely an attempt at imitation of a sound of great pianists from recordings ~ for example the sound of the iridescent brilliance of Horowitz or the crystal clear articulation of Gould. Taking a great pianist's sound as an inspiration for a personal quest is beneficial. Taking an infatuation with the idea of a sound ~ the idea of one self producing that sound, rather than with the music that contains and necessitates that sound, which needs to be discovered and examined, i.e. trying to copy a great pianist's sound without understanding, is detrimental.

The mystery of the sound of the great pianists is not a matter of how - although that is a serious but approachable challenge - but a matter of why, which is the mother of that mystery. If one wants to learn from the sound of the great pianists, one has to investigate not only the physical approach, but also the motivation that produces that sound.

When ever Mozartesque Chopin or Chopinesque Mozart (or anything esque for that matter) is heard, the musician is in love with the idea of a particular sound, and with the idea of being in love with the music, rather than being actually in love with the music, with all of her demands and desires. The sound of great pianists is their own, quit trying to imitate it. And: Never stylize style!


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