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Audi_Rosemeyer_Modell.jpg ~ Image via Wikipedia

Recently I heard a recording of a widely respected pianist playing a Mozart concerto.

This provided an enjoyable listening experience… until the last movement.

This being one of the most famous Mozart piano concertos, many listeners know the melody lines.  Had it been possible, we might have been singing along.

Singing along was, however, not to be.  Why?  The soloist got the speed bug.  The result, instead of ascending, melodic scale passages, was an accent on each high note of the scales, followed by a blur.

Yes, his playing was even.  But where was the expressivity?  No one can discern the shape of the music when the playing is unclear.

So I’ve been wondering.  How did speed playing become popular?  Must everything be played as fast as possible as if it were a competition piece?  Why is speed rewarded?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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