Klarinet Archive - Posting 000347.txt from 2002/02
Subj: [kl] Tony Pay's important comment
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 14:08:09 -0500
In a message dated 2/19/02 4:13:28 AM, klarinet-digest-help@-----.org
<< My own view is that I have no problem with deciding that Mozart might
have been 'wrong' in his judgement of the effect of that bar elision.
My own experience of meeting 'great men' has led me to understand that
'great men' are ordinary folk too, and may be subject to much more
indecision than we'd normally assign to them.
Nevertheless, along with Dan, I'd say that what you want to represent to
players is that they need to consider all the evidence fully before
making decisions about what they should do in performance. And, mostly,
you need to represent that they should do what is written, or should do
what the best evidence implies they should do.
But, *ULTIMATELY*, they get to decide. That's what being a performer is
all about. >>
I wanted to seperate this comment out from its individual thread because it
is am important comment and something for everyone to think about.
None of us wants to give a bad or less than our best performance. However, I
often hear talk about performers 'going for it' and 'taking chances.' If a
person or ensemble is realy doing these things there will, by necessity, be
some performances that are less than they might be. If there are no such
performances, I suggest that no risks are really being taken.
A performer makes dozens of decisions every second of a performance. Some are
practically automated. They must be, it is impossible to think that fast.
Almost all are based on the previous experience the performer has on his
instrument, the repertoire and composer in question and miscellaneous items
that may pertain only to a particular moment in time.
Also by necessity, certain interpretive decisions must be made prior to
performance. These include things like repeats, cuts and other 'road map'
type issues. Because these decisions can seem arbitrary, and because there is
so much time to make them, arguments can last for hours, years, etc. Luckily,
these decisions are not permanent and can be changed from performance to
performance should tastes or research suggest a change.
Tony suggests that a performer should not be completely boxed in by a
composers text. I agree with him to the extent that that text constrains
one's ability to express an emotional message to a listener.
David Hattner, NYC