It is time for another blog post on Cello Journey. The topic this time is interpretation of music. There are two overall models for interpreting music. One is about simplifying things and the other is about putting various layers on top of other layers.
Let me describe the latter one first. One thing you can do is to listen to recordings and try to copy recordings. But what happens then is that you are taking someone else’s interpretation and you’re putting your own interpretation on top of that person’s interpretation. I know, this is confusing. To take things one step further, the person on the recording may have heard another recording that they are trying to copy. So you end up with a stack of layers of interpretations.
In my mind, these types of interpretations sound complicated and a little bit confusing. Many of the markings in the score are not followed. Tempos may be different. Certain things may sound like they came from another recording or from another artist.
I prefer interpretations that make things simpler. Ideally the longer you spend studying a piece the more simple it begins to sound. I am not talking about oversimplifying or making things sound trivial. I am talking about making a peace easy to follow, easy to understand and brief. Ideally, a 10 minute piece sounds like a four-minute piece. A lot of this comes from studying the score, studying tempo markings, studying articulation markings, studying the overall style of the composer.
It is as if the more time you spend interpreting music, the more it sounds like you did not spend time doing this. Funny isn’t it?