Libertà, salvo il vero!


The above arguments would be completely fruitless were they not to bring anything useful to the purpose of music making!
Any music score hides only one truth: what is written. It seems patently obvious, but the written mark in a score, for the reason itself that it is not sufficient to provide all the information necessary for performance, deserves not only the highest respect, but also the uttermost accuracy. What is written is certain!
Looking at the written mark, a music performer is required to make many decisions: luckily, none of these choices is exclusive and can rise to the status of absolute truth; each of them, instead, will have to be pondered over to the extent that it becomes true only for the specific performer and in relation to the time and venue of the performance!
Even though the written mark is the only truth we can see, and the choices we are required to make need to originate from an in-depth cultural and musical approach, it should never be forgotten that music is an art exclusively existing in the moment it is performed, be it only in the mind of the person reading a score, or, better, in a music hall’s specific acoustics. Therefore, if the respect for the score and a degree of interpretative coherence are essential, nevertheless essential is the freedom to be ourselves when performing: and by freedom I mean the possibility of living the music intellectually, physically and emotionally in the way we are, not in the way we would like to be or others would like us to be!
An interview of some years ago to a renowned British conductor, Sir Simon Rattle if I am not mistaken, is enlightening in regard to the topic of music in relation to space and time. Asked about his relation to contemporary music immediately after a performance of Beethoven, the conductor answered that Beethoven’s music was in fact the most contemporary of all.
The provocative quality of his statement is apparent, but the statement reveals one of the deepest and most necessary concepts for a music performer: the spatiotemporal realm of a piece of music is the one that music lives in. Contemporary is the music performed at this moment, because who is performing it is a living individual and that music lives with him or her.