PART TWO, THOUGHTS ON TECHNIQUE AND INTERPRETATION

Talent

As in driving a car, so much has to be done at one time that it seems impossible that it could ever be done mechanically, without deliberating about each movement beforehand.

What is talent? Desire to make sounds? Desire to create something beautiful? Vanity? A longing for something inexpressible? The fingers? The powers of concentration? Talent is composed of many talents and is dependent on fate. One likes serious music, another likes lighter music; one likes classical, the other modern. Speaking of the purely physical aspects, one may have a better left hand, the other a better right; one may have faster fingers, yet many have difficulties with trills; staccato and spiccato are also accomplished differently by each player. The greater the talent the greater the number of these qualifications the performer will be able to accumulate. Even perfect pitch does not predestine one for music.

The really important factors are a feeling for form, perseverance and patience, thoroughness and lust for discovery. Many are destined to become musicians even when they are still too small to have anything to say about it themselves. It is often said of the great ones that they are involved in a one-sided and unrequited love.

There are specific musical attributes and also attributes that music has in common with other artistic professions. And when one looks more closely, there are but a few attributes which are peculiar to music. The relaxation of certain muscles and tendons and at the same time the stretching of others, the balancing of weight to make the most of the physical equipment, the distribution of weight on the bow, the determination of fingering, of crescendo and decrescendo, accelerando and ritardando, i.e., feeling for form. There are comparable attributes for all these in sports and in business life. For the musician alone is reserved the metaphysical province of predestination for music, which includes such physical matters as flexibility of the fingers and coordination of both hands and arms.

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