You probably know that I am writing a lot these days. The cool thing with long writings is that you have to tidy up your thoughts and make them (at least look) coherent. It involves digging into my past and understanding whatever positions I could have taken in the last 15 years to properly connect the dots between my ideas. And this is the point where I am supposed to give you the lecture about me changing over the years and being a better person and artist. Guess what? I’m not going to give you this lecture at all.
Three months ago, I published a post untitled Far Beyond Entertainment. I guess I opened the Pandora box with this post. It’s really different to write down a story and publish from having an idea buried deeply inside your mind : you don’t have to structure, defend nor apply it. When it’s out, you have to help people understand what you meant, stand up for your idea and think what it changes in your life.
Is a musician just an entertainer or a little more than this? Is entertaining people the only purpose of Classical music? I strongly disagree with this simplistic idea. Entertaining people is one of the multiple possible goals of Art, but I don’t really think our job just stops here. We can go deeper and approach other layers of understanding of a work and offer something else than “nice” music.
A promise is a promise. In my first post about the score I told you that I will talk about the issue of editorial quality and the differences between editions. Text is our best source, and often all you can find about the music we want to interpret. In the case of a composer still alive you can always contact him to know his opinion about a detail, but in the case of Beethoven for example, it is a little late to ask him if a particular phrasing is in accordance with his thoughts.
Interpreter: word which can, by extension, replace the word musician. Yet the two words have a totally different connotation: if the latter clearly evokes music and the inspired craftsman created in and by popular imagination, first emphasizes another facet of the same man: here is suggested the intellectual work, in other words the analysis and long road towards understanding a work.
These days, at the height of a world financial crisis, everything seems to be all about one thing: stock exchange variations or bank crashes. For a long time already, the force and quality of things are measured in economic values. Even art, though previous to speculation…
Often I see my collegues being surprised when we pronounce certain words or names. Adorno, Badiou, Deleuze, names that should not appear in the middle of a musical discussion. However philosophy has its role in music, and has strongly influenced History of musical creation.