The question of interpretation : LUSENET : To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us : One Thread

Dear Mr. Boyk,

In your book and in your Alive with Music! today (5/8/02), you described an interpretation as an attempt in reconstructing what's heard in the composer's head from what is printed on paper, like rebuilding an object from a shadow without ever having seen the object itself. I asked you about Rachmaninoff towards the end of our discussion, and you agreed that his playing of his own music is inimitable. He is the first major composer who extensively recorded his piano works--do these cease to be 'interpretations' according to your definition? Certainly Rachmaninoff had heard everything in his head before he played.

Does one aim to imitate Rachmaninoff, or make his or her own original interpretation using just what is printed and not hearing Rachmaninoff?

Sincerely, Tony Chao.

-- Tony Chao (, May 08, 2002


Rachmaninoff would probably play his own works differently each time, for no single performance can embody every relationship present in a complex score, nor are the feelings "single-valued."

-- James Boyk (, September 19, 2002.

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