Mortality of Writing Immortality of Truth
The Musical Language
The Rehearsal in the Course of Time
Alienated Technique of Score Reading
Conveying Most Ancient Truths
Applying Today's Analytical Method of Description
The Language of Truth
truths certainly remain eternal truths; the characters, however, by which
they are expressed are subject to change in the course of time. And in a time
changing as rapidly as ours some writings not the truth they contain,
but the description of it vanish much faster than we believe.
Thus, the inner meaning of classical scores is understood much less than any expert might realize.
Just as the letter a today is written on a typewriter in only one way, but pronounced quite differently in different syllables, likewise, at the time of the classics, for example, a one-accented d (d') for a violin was written down in only one way but, because of the richer musical expression of that time, it was played quite differently, depending on its context in the composition.
In those days the purpose of the orchestral rehearsal (and to some extent of the notation) was mainly to correct possible deviations from the prevailing practice of performing music. This has turned into today's orchestral rehearsal with its desperate effort to transform the living language of classical music into "typewritten characters." The result is a dying interest in this music among the general public.
the traditional form of notation the composer provided the skilled performer
with the minimum of information required to produce the desired musical result.
The playing instructions of the classical composers had, at their time, rather
the character of "memory aids."
This we can deduct from the complexity of the inner logic of these compositions; for it is most unlikely that these great musical creators intended to express such an immense, inner compositional diversity with such an unimaginative play as is the practice today.
Thus, unlike the musician of today, the musician of the classical period must have had, as a routine, a degree of virtuosity at his command which ist incomprehensible to the analytically thinking musician of today. Quotation
given today's routine of performance, a composition of Beethoven literally
becomes deprived of its life, and the instrumentalist of the classical time
would have firmly rejected such an alienated technique of reading a score
which leads to such petrification. In this kind of analytical score reading
he would have found the means and the way interchanged.
However, such an alienation is natural in the course
of time. Quotation
with regard to the true purpose of music, for us musicians today the rewarding
task arises to express the truth anew with the means of our time, in our own
familiar "colloquial" language.
And particularly because of today's predominantly analytical method of description, the technology of our century, and the field of electronics in particular, presents a timely and abundant potential for the formation of an extremely lively musical language, and therefore for the successful conveyance of most ancient truths.