Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 57
types of phrasing, and methods of extracting sound
change, the instrument itself, for which the work was
written, improves and evolves. Modern audiences
may not be satisfied by the sound of the harpsichord
in the performance of ancient works written for this
instrument. The modern concert piano differs so
much from the first keyboard instruments that the
appearance of new stylistic peculiarities based on
new sonic and technical possibilities is only natural.
Descriptions of the playing of the great pianists of
the past that have been passed down to us do not
always fit the new aesthetic requirements. And even
within a single lifetime a pianist is often convinced by
changing tastes and styles of interpretation.10
Though his attitude towards historical instruments is
dated, Feinberg insists that old music has to be made
new-a great responsibility for the artist-interpreter.
Throughout these excerpts Feinberg pushes toward
that elusive but fundamentally important goal-a
healthy and productive attitude toward the practice of
interpretation. His deep insight into the creative process
is inspiring, providing a philosophical basis for both
the meticulous study of notation with respect to the
composer's intentions and the creative, artistic nature
of the performer's task. Feinberg's example as pianist
and writer reminds all of us who play and teach music to
strive for the highest ideals of our calling.
Pugsley, Adam, "Old music is outselling new music for the first
time in history", Chart Attack, January 20, 2016, www.chartattack.com/
Satz, Donald, review "Samuel Feinberg's Well Tempered Clavier",
Bach Cantatas website, May 18, 2001, www.bach-cantatas.com/
Robert Rimm, The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and the Eight
(Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 2002), p. 91.
Several of his compositions can be found on the IMSLP website,
Samuil Feinberg, Pianizm kak Isskustvo, ed. L. Feinberg and V.A.
Natanson, 2nd ed. (Muzika: Moscow, 1969) 33-34. Translations are my
own, with assistance from Lydia Frumkin.
Ibid., p. 35.
Ibid., p. 46.
Ibid., p. 77.
Ibid., p. 47.
Ibid., pp. 56-57.
Michael Rector is Assistant Professor
of Piano at the University of Wisconsin
in Green Bay. His articles on pedagogy
appeared in American Music Teacher
and the MTNA e-Journal. He performs
with his wife Sylvia Hong as a piano
duo; together they have won top prizes in the Ellis
Duo Piano Competition and toured extensively in the
United States, Asia, and Europe.