THE VARIOUS musical seasons, with all the marvelous artists we have the opportunity to hear, give rise to some thoughts
that I would like to share.

IT IS more and more self-evident that, as the civilization of leisure is brought into existence, we shall need more and more
great artists.

THERE ARE three communication lines from the performer to the public: Technique, Expression, and Presence.  A performer
with any one of three lines "well in" is a good performer; a performer with any two of these lines in will be an arresting
performer; and a performer with the three lines in could be called a genius.

WHY IS the public thrilled by technique?  Why do thundering octaves, pearly scales, fleeting arpeggios, etc., leave them
agape?  Why is it that technique by itself is sufficient to create an impact?  The answer I found is that technique represents
the mastery over and control of those parts of the physical universe involved in the performance; and those parts are the
instrument and the body of the performer!  Technique also presumes certainty.  It is a science in that it has very precise laws
that work every time.  This is true of a juggler, a car racer or a pianist.

AS REGARDS expression, Busoni gave a very exhaustive and impressive description of it as poetry, imagination, elegance,
sense of style, of form, or colors, feeling for distance, for volumes, etc.  In other words, anything dealing with the mind, the
mental machinery and the emotions would pertain to expression.

THE THIRD line, presence, would be the being himself, his ability to command attention, to hold together, spellbound, three or
four thousand people, all stranger, and infuse them with a unanimity of feelings and reactions.  This is the least visible ability,
but one that makes the difference between Busoni, Horowitz, etc., and most pianists.

IS IT then possible to create a great pianist?  Are the various technologies advanced enough to obtain this?  In other words, if
the pianist is not "born," can he be made?

MY ANSWER is emphatically yes!  There is enough knowledge of all three--technique, expression, and presence--to create
whatever is needed and wanted by whoever wants and needs it.

IT MAY APPEAR that I am an optimist How many times have I heard that without "talent" or "gifts," there is nothing in the way
of greatness.  However, I say that anybody with interest and persistence should be given the chance of reaching the heights
he has perceived or the goals he has formulated.  In fact, it is my experience that although "gifts" may help at the start, often
the so-called "gifted pupil" is fixated in his gifts, and cannot change and/or beyond them.  Of course, there are no gifts that
cannot be expanded or improved upon.

TECHNIQUE, expression, and presence have each their own separate technology, but it is impossible in a short article to
describe in detail each one.  One thing is certain, though:  when one has applied a new true datum, the piece that was once
difficult has now improved, at least in some respect.  It is definitely not the number of hours of
practice that will create audible technique, but intelligent practice in the right direction.  No
amount of drudgery will ever produce a lovely tone, but know-how will!

ARTISTS ARE, after all, creators of universes and it is indisputable that any training insight,
revelation, etc., into the world of personal magic associated with a grounding in the natural
technique would create artists.  We must not forget what Schoenberg said: "The laws of the
man of genius are the laws of future humanity."

Continue (click here to go to his site and listen to some awesome music!)

By Mario Feninger
CARLWATTSARTIST.COM
"Art by Mario Feninger"
Can We Create  Artists?
Page created  10/7/08, modified
11/8/08
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