Music expression : playing beautiful sounds

The artists who have really great command of means are the ones who, no matter how hard or elaborate in musical writing the passages are which they have to play, manage to make those passages sound so beautiful and full of expression that the listener will never notice whether the music that is being performed is difficult or not, so absorbed will he be in the delight the playing gives him.

Playing piano with music expression

How much consummate technique is there sometimes expended upon the execution of a quite simple melody, slow, soft and melting, the tones flowing into each other, so that no one who listens can realize that the piano which is being played is only a mechanical instrument with hammers that strike upon copper strings. What patience and study, too, is needed to develop the deep sonority of touch in massive chords, and the light brilliancy of rippling progressions. All this is impossible without technical command, and it is only when mastery of every kind of vehicle for expression has been acquired that interpretation can be approached with confidence. There is no greater suffering to the artist than to have in his mind a certain impression which the music has created in it, and not to be able to reproduce the picture on his piano, because he has shortcomings in technique which deter him.

Technical limits to reproduce music expression on piano

On the other hand, what joy it is to a pianist to resume the playing of some great masterpiece, which he had studied diligently in former years, and at that time had never succeeded in giving to it the rendering that he sought, owing to insufficient mastery of means. But upon starting upon it again after this long period during which he had doubtless been developing gradually, and probably unconsciously, he finds that now he can at last do with ease what he wants in the piece, and which he never could arrive at before. To attain such a reward is worth all the labours of Hercules!