By Ed Shanapy
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Extra resources for 500 Piano Intros for the Great Standards (The Steinway Library of Piano Music)
So we do not need to be philosophers of music to work with the idea of the default-setting and to use it to encourage ourselves to be open to appreciating aspects of Wagner’s works which are so often taken for granted. We should notice skills which the composer would never have been [dis]credited with, and allow ourselves the freedom to see behind the big to what we may subsequently experience as the meaningful. Wagner may well impress us most when he is not trying to do so. Perhaps he was a secret novelist and did not wish to admit it.
36 Wagner and the Novel between consciously trying to apply known principles (the so-called ‘declarative knowledge’) and relaxing with one’s internalized skills (‘procedural knowledge’) has long been recognized as essential to good performances, bearing in mind that sporting performance is measured numerically, and by winning. Success in art – for some of the reasons Hebbel and Wagner illustrate – is harder to identify and it depends on external situations. So we have suggested a number of parameters for a composer’s defaultsetting: they have included the psychological, in as much as the idea depends on composers’ ability to get out of the dominance of their Superego; but they affect the critical and receptive as well as the productive abilities.
2 We focus on it here in no spirit of rehabilitation, but because of the circumstances in which it was written: it is only one of two instances in Wagner’s work of 1 2 Another feature of the time may be identified in the often rather naïve acceptance by Adorno of Nietzsche’s critiques of Wagner, a strategy seen as subversive during the years when Nietzsche too might have been in the Nazi Pantheon. In this book – perhaps this is also general among musicologists, who have little reason to respect Nietzsche (cf.
500 Piano Intros for the Great Standards (The Steinway Library of Piano Music) by Ed Shanapy
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