Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Am I really playing in the Style?

I have had the good fortune these past few weeks to play and hear quite a bit of Mozart. I performed with Yulia (http://www.juliasakharova.com) The Mozart Duets originally for Violin and Viola,

Mozart K. 423 I. Allegro - Violin & Viola

Mozart K. 423 III. Rondo


Heard the Mozart Alleluia from Exsultate Jubilate and played in another aria last night, Tu Virginum corona, also from Exsultate Jubilate (http://imslp.org/wiki/Exsultate,_jubilate,_K.165/158a_%28Mozart,_Wolfgang_Amadeus%29)

Mozart Exsultate Jubilate (Portion)

What I realized last night is that for all these years and playing I don't think I have ever really imagined what Mozart was suppose to sound like. It felt as though I had never really played Mozart before. It was that "Aha!" moment I love to see in students so often. Why is that that I never had and why did it feel so new last night?

I think this is more proof that there are infinite levels to our ability to focus and listen to what we are doing. I think it is also proof that we can "Pretend" to play something. The question to ask yourself is this - Is this music a truth for me? or is it just a nice idea? What I have been discovering lately about  my own playing is that I pretend to play quite a bit, music half the time seems to be just a nice idea and I don't even realize it. When it becomes a truth, something real and concrete, I begin to play better. When I add a greater and deeper imagination to the style I am playing I play more accurately and contribute more to the ensemble.

The answer going forward is to be more proactive about style, to always ask the question up front at the beginning, What is the Style? Am I deeply actively imagining it in my mind?

The deeper use of this aspect of music is sure to improve my accuracy as well as musicianship.