JEFFREY CHAPPELL - PIANIST
HOW TO PLAY WITH BOTH FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
Dear Mr. Chappell:
I want to play with freedom, but how can I balance that with my responsibility to the composer and the music?
There is a line down which we musicians walk. On one side of the line is feeling right (emotionally motivated; subjective), and on the other is being right (structurally motivated; objective). Ideally, we want things both to feel right and to be right. It’s an impoverished performance that is limited to only one side of the line. Every audience member knows that.
Your inborn musical instincts give your playing its energy and direction. Your training gives your playing the foundation to make informed choices. You will know that you have combined the two when you can do something that feels completely instinctual but for which you can find a musical justification afterwards.
Until then, err on the side of structural motivation. Your instincts will never disappear, but your training can always be developed further.