PERFORMANCE

…Stay seated. I know for a fact that anyone five feet tall or more can, with practice, play virtually anything written inside the instrument while keeping the posterior planted decorously on the bench. Frankly, piano playing should not be very interesting visually, but when it is it is usually for the wrong reasons.

…Today I realize that it is a beautifully logical philosophy of performing (and of learning and teaching, too,) that puts first things first: It begins with the musical concept.

The pianist’s first objective as a performing musician is to serve the music well, to make the expressive substance as comprehensible as possible through sensitivity to and control of structure, line, and timbre. This should be true whether the performance deals with Beethoven, Schumann, Scriabin, Boulez, or a work completed the day before yesterday by a student composer.