PART TWO, THOUGHTS ON TECHNIQUE AND INTERPRETATION
The position of the interpreter is highly individual because he can very easily become identified with the composition he is performing. The audience, because of the presence of the artist and the absence of the composer, will be given an incorrect impression of the piece-and so will the artist.
What is the interpreter's actual place within music? There is no doubt that music is written to be heard, and by as many people as possible. A composer is, after all, only human and since the time that there has been a concert life the composer has been described as having never derived pure artistic satisfaction from what he has written, be he a Mozart or a Wagner.
Music appears to be dead on paper, and each time it is played, it is revived. Scores are a delight for the expert, but they are not written for him, and the number of experts is small indeed. The importance of the interpreter cannot be valued too highly. The more important a position or a person is, the more depends on him. Even if the question of interpreter is easy to answer, the question of interpretation presents greater difficulties.
The interpreter is a person, not a machine, which means that the composer only indirectly addresses his listeners. Every performer is different, and it is inevitable that no two interpreters will present a piece alike.
And now I come to the most important question for the practicing artist: is a piece composed to give the interpreter the opportunity to express himself, or should the interpreter perceive that it is his task to subordinate one's talent and ability to the composer?
An interpretation, because it is performed by a person, can never be impersonal, whether intended or not. To give an example: if one examines a composition as something written in an unintelligible language and considers the interpreter a translator, should he render a literal or a free translation?
In my opinion the player should try to extract from the very incomplete score what the composer could only indicate in his writing. He should place his personality and his ability at the disposal of the composition. Every intentional emphasis of one's own personality is an offense to the composition, in which only one personality should be expressed intentionally-that of the composer.