[Smt-talk] Theory impacting performance

Donna donnadoyle at att.net
Thu Jul 5 03:59:40 PDT 2012

See the Spring 2012 issue of Arkiv's 'Listen' magazine for a feature interview 
with M Perahia, in which he discusses his indebtedness to Schenker and other interpretation/performance issues.

(In NYC, free copies of this issue available at Steinway Hall.)

Best regards,
Donna Doyle
Queens College CUNY
Flushing, NY

On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:38 AM, Isaac Malitz <imalitz at omsmodel.com> wrote:

> I will dive right in with a couple of proposed examples, for whatever they are worth. Then I'll provide a cautionary comment.
> EXAMPLE1: Schenker Theory (or something like Schenker Theory)
> I studied piano with Aube Tzerko, a student of Artur Schnabel, who taught a specific method of analysis which seems to have been adapted from Schenker. Two of the goals of the analysis were [a] To help the player to convey the "long line" or the "architecture" in a piece of tonal music; [b] To help the player to convey detail in a manner that is vivid, compelling, and true to the music. I and many of my fellow students believe that Tzerko's methods were very effective indeed. 
> I am not a specialist in Schenker theory myself, I am primarily schooled in Tzerko's adaptation of Schenker. Perhaps a Schenker specialist may want to contribute some comments.
> I believe there are prominent musicians who claim that Schenker has been influential in their work (Furtwangler; Murray Perahia; ...)
> My primary research interest has been "OMS", which could be described briefly as a way of modeling musical performances from an "experiential" point of view. See  www.OMSModel.com  more information.
> In discussions with performing musicians (I am active in the contemporary music activities in Los Angeles), I frequently incorporate ideas from OMS. And I think these ideas have influenced musical performances. The most evident influence I think has been to help musicians to understand that a performance can be more effective when designed as a "total experience" ("total experience" involves careful consideration of the program, the venue, program notes, etc.,  and also of the various ways in which the purely  musical content can affect the listeners. Performers are often short-sighted of the total range of possible effect of a musical performance, OMS can broaden a performer's perspective on what they can do.)
> Just because a performer claims to have been influenced by  theory doesn't mean that they were significantly influenced by that theory or that their performances audibly reflect the theory !
> Isaac Malitz, Ph.D.
> www.OMSModel.com
> imalitz at OMSModel.com
> 818-231-3965
> On 7/1/2012 11:15 AM, Eric Knechtges wrote:
>> Dear collective wisdom,
>> This is an incredibly broad question (and non-specific on purpose), so I'll gladly accept any and all suggestions you would like to send.
>> I'm interested in specific examples of where a specific theoretical understanding of a piece of music has a direct and audible impact on one's interpretation of that piece in performance, especially in situations involving some ambiguity.  This could manifest itself on any level.  If this could be supported by references to different recordings showcasing competing interpretations, even better.  My goal is to stimulate discussion among my undergrads about valuation and evaluation of different interpretations, and why analysis is an important piece of forming a personal (and "correct") interpretation.
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