CRITICISM

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The emphasis, by and large, continues to move in the direction of pianism, how the piano is played, so-called effectiveness, rather than the development of a deeper interest in and understanding of what is being played. The one without the other, with showiness more important than musical content, is a form of musical display; pianism becomes another competitive sport.

…This point of view…may have a great deal to do with the bad performances one hears from so many potentially good performers; it may also be the cause of the popularity of so much “mindless” music today; it certainly helps to create a negative attitude toward the performance of the most challenging new music of our time.

It would seem that, despite an outpouring of wonderful piano music during every decade of the Twentieth century, the repertoire played by the majority of young and old pianists today is the same as in 1889, with just a few peripheral additions.

 For most of these pianists, Twentieth-century music hardly exists. They remain proud of their ignorance of it, and spend their lives recreating the music of other times. But do you really think that there is a growing audience for this wonderful but punishingly over-played repertoire? If so, take a good look at the shrinking iceberg you're standing on before it gets too far from shore.