Is it easier for you to play your own music than other music?

September 15th, 2008 Uncategorized

No. Strangely enough it’s the same, if not more difficult. I learn the score just as I would any other, making decisions about fingering, phrasing, fine articulation, going over the gnarly spots endlessly, etc. It might be a little easier to memorize, but that trades off with the problem of having to correct bad habits that may have formed while playing through passages less than meticulously in the haste of writing. If it’s a piece with other players or voice, the process is the same as it would be if preparing the Brahms quintet or the Book of the Hanging Garden of Schoenberg. That includes working through all of the various possibilities of nuance and balance with my collaborators. I should say that I usually wait until a piece has gone through rehearsal and performance to enter all of the fine markings into the score, and the contribution of the players in terms of bowings, dynamics inflections, even little rubatos, becomes part of the final edition. I am quite receptive to suggestions the musicians might have, and within a certain framework, am curious to see how interpretation of a piece changes from player to player, or concert to concert. Chopin never played any one of his pieces the same way twice. The structure invites a plurality of readings – that’s precisely what classical performance is all about.