Publishing a book: true need or fancy caprice?

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bookWhen I announced last week I was writing a book, I heard some voices telling me “why a book? Can’t you publish it on your blog?”. The answer is no. Or “Why writing anything about that?” There are lots of good reasons for this. Music is, like other arts, about reflection and time. I noticed we rarely talk about this interesting part of our work and want to share it. Also, I have always secretly wanted to write a book.

A book is very different from a blog post. First it’s much much longer than a blog post. I did post some long articles about complex concepts of mine in the past, and I noticed blog posts weren’t the right format to speak about these. Truth is that as a blog posts reader, I’m not expecting the same deep level of analysis I could find in a book and I’m not prepared to deal with large complex concepts.

As I am a fan of tackling big aesthetic concepts and expressing my views, I decided to write this book especially to express some ideas too long and difficult to fit in a short piece and too interconnected to split them between different posts on my blog. Sometimes, ideas are too interlinked to separate them without weakening the bigger picture. You therefore need a longer format to pack your ideas together so it makes perfectly sense.

I heard at some point that publishing a book about interpretation and aesthetic concepts in conjunction with the Beethoven album was an incredible act of elitism. For me, it is completely the opposite. Yes I value the ideas behind the music and the thought process that makes me play in a certain way. I could have skipped publishing something, but writing seemed to me the second best way to share about that silent part of music and make it easily accessible for largest number of people. So no, I wouldn’t call that an elitist move.

Anyway, rather than a definitive thought about Beethoven’s interpretation, this book will be more of an instant picture of my present state of mind towards this topic and the perspective I see things just before recording these 3 first sonatas. A book helping classical music lovers get into the head of a classical pianist just before an important event. No more than that.

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