Tuesday, August 18, 2009

wrong notes

It’s not wrong notes that matter when
the piece of music is performed;
wrong feelings are what tell us when
the composition’s so deformed
that we no longer can get pleasure
from notes which, though they may be played
without mistakes, cause ever measure
to clash, and make us feel dismayed.

Dennis Bartel’s “great composer” this morning was Beethoven, who apparently did not mind his piano students playing wrong notes, declaring that what counted was the feeling with which the music was played. If that is wrong, he said, it invalidates everything that is being played.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 8/18/09

1 comment:

  1. I love it -- the cadence, the message. Ah yes, the message, particularly that in the third and fourth lines. To me, it presents (implies, maybe?) an overlapping of, or a graying of the line between, the subjective and the objective.

    I remember my former piano teacher, who was such a strict fellow, and was 'old school' in disciplining his young students (by lightly using the end of a conductor's stick to make the erring finger on the keyboard remember its mistake). As a music teacher, he's no Beethoven, that's for sure. ;)