Today, We will pursue the exploration of my album’s Track list with Ravel. Not that we’re done with Janáček yet, believe me, but let’s take a little detour by one of my favorite pieces ever, Gaspard de la nuit. For those who know me close enough, they know how I adore this piece and that I could speak about it for hours.
Let’s continue our series on interpretation and scores. In our previous post we have been discussing the issue of editions, today let’s focus on notation and its interpretation.
A promise is a promise. In my first post about the score I told you that I will talk about the issue of editorial quality and the differences between editions. Text is our best source, and often all you can find about the music we want to interpret. In the case of a composer still alive you can always contact him to know his opinion about a detail, but in the case of Beethoven for example, it is a little late to ask him if a particular phrasing is in accordance with his thoughts.
The score is often the first medium you have to deal with when studying a piece. It enables the composer to encode four key dimensions of music: pitch, duration, intensity and timbre. This document can then transmit the composer’s thought, or rather transcribe his music in a format understood by any interpreter.
Interpreter: word which can, by extension, replace the word musician. Yet the two words have a totally different connotation: if the latter clearly evokes music and the inspired craftsman created in and by popular imagination, first emphasizes another facet of the same man: here is suggested the intellectual work, in other words the analysis and long road towards understanding a work.