Lectures / 18/05/2009 7:30 pmArt and Science?
The Quest for the Horowitz Factor. An unusual expedition into the world of music interpretation
What makes music come to life? How do musicians express emotion through music? How do they convey to the audience their understanding of a piece of music? What sets the most famous pianists apart, what makes them immediately recognizable? What distinguishes the interpretation of a piece of music, say, by Vladimir Horowitz, from one by Alfred Brendel?
Such questions will serve as our point of departure for an exploration of the world of expressive interpretation. In light of the most recent research results we will witness a demonstration of how it is computers – of all things – that yield completely new insights into a phenomenon as seemingly intractable as musical expression. We will witness how new methods of visualization make the differences between individual pianists literally easy to see. And we will see computers in action that not only spot specific aspects of highly individual styles of interpretation but also describe them, use them for an identification of one of a number of outstanding pianists and even attempt to learn themselves to play music con molto espressione. We will hear about a computer that emerged victorious from a piano interpretation competition for computers. And, last but not least, we will perhaps be able to decipher a secret message that the great Glenn Gould concealed in a Mozart recording.