Reading v Improvisation

1/6/96  (an Eon ago) Harvey A wrote
>>>A final thought on the classicists and ensemble members like Richard out
>there, isn't it true that the main purpose of playing classical piece is to
>minimize interpretation and improvisation and to ~as close as possible~
>match what was intended by the composer (part of the ~discipline~)? 

This is taken out of context, but today I was listening to one of the worlds
greatest violinists, Itzhak Perlman.  He was asked about playing the middle
movement of the Brahms Violin Concerto. Roughly he said this ...' Jazz musicians
i,provise new notes and expressions every time they play a piece.  Many people
think that classical musicians do not improvise.  What we do may be more subtle
in that our improvisation is in the way we interpret the music.  It is different
every time. I would be ashamed if a recording I made of a work sounded like a
concert or another recording of it I had made.'     There was about 10 minutes
on this subject but that is the gist.  The implication, which I go along with
100% is that we all improvise, Bluse, Jazz, Classical, but in different ways.
If we don't, then our music is dead.  If we don't consider our audience as a
partner in the performance it does not work.  'Jazz' and 'Blues' musicians tend
to think of classocal musicians as following a path set by the composer.  True
to a certain extent, but you only have to listen to a great performance of a
piece of classical music to realise that there is an act of creation, just as
marvellous as that by an inspired blues player, going on.  

Quite frankly, if this wasn't so I would give up playing classical and take up
pogo stick as a hobby.

Douglas T

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