chapter  4
43 Pages

Communicating expression

Expressive dynamics Manfred Clynes, a trained piano player, recalls in his book Sentics: The Touch of Emotions an occasion during a Pablo Casals masterclass: a participant played the theme from the third movement of the Haydn cello concerto, with considerable grace and mastery. ‘No’, said Casals, ‘that must be graceful’, then played the same few bars – in Clynes’s opinion a hundred times more gracefully than the student, melting the cynicism in the hearts of people sitting there listening. It occurred then to Clynes that the emotive differences between musical performances might be due to minute differences in the dynamic shape of the delivered phrases.1