04 November 2006

Against The Gesture

To refer to a passage or a piece of music as a gesture is to insult its distinctive characteristics and autonomous nature. As mere gesture, all crescendos are alike, as are all diminuendos, all fugato passages, and so on. To delight in gesture is to hear the music without really listening. An attentive listener comes away from the experience with an impression that defies the very concept of musical gesture as it is impossible to ignore those unique characteristics which lend each piece its engaging (or not) qualities.

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