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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000656.txt from 2004/08

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: [kl] Knowing the music --- one step too far ??
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 12:58:46 -0400

During a master class (classical guitar, visiting professor, I don't
remember the name), a student stumbled on many fingerings. When the
professor focused on the student's decision to perform without
sufficient preparation, the student admitted that he had heard the
composition only 3 days earlier and that he had decided to play it
instead of the composition for which he was scheduled.

During the subsequent discussion, the professor said "When performing,
you should know the music well enough that it feels as though you wrote
it yourself."

I'm certainly not objecting to the need to be well-prepared. Also,
when taken out of context, the professor's comment says something
different than what he intended.... on the surface, at least.

But still, the remark stuck in my head because it suggests the
underlying (and perhaps subconscious) assumption that a musician should
adopt the composer's personality. "Serving the music" vs. "serving the
composer" vs. "serving oneself" is a frequent topic, especially when the
music and the composer and the available instruments are several hundred
years removed from us.

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