Lack of Understanding of the Symbols of Inner Enlivenment
"Music" without Meaning
Realizing the Compositional Idea
The Music Scene
The Conventional Practice
today's interpreters are victim of a crucial error which afflicts the entire
conventional machinery of music performance and reproduction.
The musician takes the symbols of an inner inspiration, as recorded by the composer, for exact instructions on the outer musical event.
The error is exactly the same as if one would take the symbolic letters of an unknown language for the picture of a landscape and erroneously attempt to describe it as such. However, language is fraught with meaning, and it is the meaning in particular which accounts for its true value.
Due to the time-prevailing, changing understanding of the essence of music, of the possibilities of instrumentation, and particularly of playing techniques, the inner understanding of a score of Beethoven at Beethoven's time was completely different from the understanding of today's musician who is formed by our time.
Thus, the systematics of writing down a score at Beethoven's time was based on a concept quite different from the present scientific, analytical thinking. Hence, today, a score of Beethoven is like the writing of a completely different time, and if someone knows not how to read that writing, simply because he is a child of our time, he will not comprehend Beethoven's score from the same angle from which it was written. By reading it, such an interpreter of today will naturally be unable to comprehend Beethoven's compositional idea, let alone to realize it with an orchestra.
Therefore, today's technique of conveying music corresponds to a Frenchman, who learns Chinese verses from an African and passing them on without understanding their meaning to Turks with the aim of spreading euphony.