Stanislavsky and music performance
Years ago I realised that the Russian actor Stanislavsky’s suggestions for bringing characters to life on stage could help music performance too. One of his main ideas is that an actor must use his imagination to recreate the inner feelings of a role and allow it to take on a life of its own. Translated into concert performance this means concentrating on your interpretation of the music, rather than on nerves or technique.
Stanislavsky as Othello
What makes a good concert?
Some of the concerts I have been most affected by have somehow managed to achieve this illusive sense of vitality. Surprisingly they have not been by the greatest performers; but they have all involved commitment and creativity. One was an informal concert of Vivaldi’s Double Violin Concerto by two young children, which was conducted so imaginatively by Emmanuel Hurwitz that none of the violinists’ mistakes mattered. The other was a Rachmaninoff piano piece played by a teenage boy, who was not technically perfect, but put his whole soul into the performance.
How much does technique matter ?
Is the message then never to worry about technique? Not at all,technique is still vitally important: but ultimately what people remember is communication