One of the themes of my video is the modern obsession with Urtext. Anyone who knows anything about how music is composed knows that the score is a work in progress to an eventual musical goal.
In Earl Wild's memoir, he mentions this point over and over again. Yesterday, I was reading about his session with Samuel Barber regarding the second Excursion. The text is as follows:
"In Barbers's second Excursion, he writes in the score "in a slow blues tempo." As I was practicing it, I could never figure out what he wanted. It didn't sound like the blues the way I was playing it. I knew Sam quite well so I called him on the telephone and asked him if I could come and play it for him. . . . After Sam arrived, I played the Blues movement of the Excursions for him. I asked him to please play it for me because it didn't sound "bluesey" enough. I was so surprised when Sam didn't play it the way he had annotated it on the printed score. He was playing all the sixteenth and dotted eighth notes like triplets. I said, "Sam, why didn't you write them out as triplets?" All he said in response was "Oh, I don't know." . . . After that session with Sam, I was able to create the proper blues feeling that he wanted by slightly elongating the sixteenth notes.