I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Genius you can hear, genius you can read

Tonight while listening to music, I came across a thought in my head: There must be at least two types of compositional genius: one that you can see by reading notes off the page, and the other, what you can't recognize on the page, but only feel. Take Bach's invention #9 in F minor. You can see some motives skip between the staves, and think "ah, clever, some counterpoint. Yes, there is evidence of some real artistry here." To a much more gross level, sticking with Bach, we might look at the contrapuntal complexity in his various contrapuncti from Art of the Fugue. That's genius you can read on the page. However, when I performed the ninth invention, I didn't play it anything like Kenneth Gilbert, or like Masaaki Suzuki do on their recordings. With the enhancement of a sequencer, my performance is faster, but the emphasis is on what I might call "microdetails" in the lines and themes, in some sort of style similar to perhaps Fabio Biondi, with his accents and dynamic nuances added beyond what's read off the page. My performance feels especially good. It's not me, the genius. These are qualities already in the music Bach wrote. I feel the best performances realize both the feel and the page genius. Too many great songs being played on radios today have the appeal of feel, however, and no artistry of what's on the page. That is what I think makes Bach unique... he had both, more often than not.

Amplifier Burn-In

Following a Score