Look at this guy. He is one of my heroes, an epitome of class, and someone who has managed to bridge the gap found all too frequently in classical music between authority and humbleness. He never stops learning. And every single darned time he performs, he puts THIS kind of energy, thought, and musicality into it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the technicality of it all. Having seen several students get caught up in getting things technically perfect lately, I’ve had to ask both them and myself a question: Why are you doing this?? The original reason for pursuing a career in music is never “to play everything to absolute perfection.” It’s because there’s something in our heart and soul that draws us to the thing. The cello professor in my undergrad was quoted as saying, “We don’t pursue music because we have to, we pursue it because we have to.”
Composers (most of them, anyway) did not put these notes on the page glibly and without thought. There’s a story to tell, and there’s an interpretation to portray. It’s our responsibility as musicians to try and communicate with the composer themselves. They left behind their message in the form of music – the more we know, the more we can understand and interpret for our audience.