Jocelyn Wang writes:
>Part of the premise of being a musician is not to place one's self above
Aha! Is it really? I think with this astounding phrase we reach the heart
of Jocelyn's underlying presumption about performance.
At no point in this debate has Jocelyn given house room to any argument
allowing practical performers any rights over the material, only - as she
has now spelt out - responsibilities of service.
First, as a performer and director myself, this "premise" is certainly
not one I can recognise. I believe that to engage with drama or music
at a meaningful level, to communicate anything at all, I simply cannot
afford NOT to place myself - not above, but assuredly on a level with
the musico/dramatic material with which I am working.
Performance (whether or not we choose to denigrate Malcolm Bilston's
fastidious and sensitive approach to Mozart repeats) has to be a
collaboration, not a rite of worship, otherwise we're dead in the water.
The Sanctimonious Reverential is a type commonly spotted amongst audiences,
but in my experience pretty much unknown amongst performers - except of
course as a Pecksniffian gesture to help bolster the bank balance.
Once again, I urge Jocelyn to read Pushkin's "Mozart & Salieri", which
makes this point so much more elegantly.
Christopher Webber, Blackheath, London, UK.