The Missing Dimension

George Tibbetts


A story that has become part of musical folklore telIs of the rehearsal of a Beethoven piano concerto by the pianist Artur Schnabel and the conductor Qtto von Klemperer. As Klemperer was conducting the orchestra, he noticed that
Schnabel was motioning to the musicians behind his back. He tolerated this as long as he could, but finally he could do so no longer. He turned to Schnabel and said, "Herr Schnabel, the conductor is here. K1emperer is here." "Ah," Schnabel
replied, "Klemperer is there and I am here, but where is Beethoven."
Implicit in Schnabel's reply is the belief, common among musicians, that it is possible to go to the score of a musical work, to examine the score from the standpoint of its formal and expressive elements, to leam all that can be learned
about the composer - particularly his life experiences up to and including the time that he wrote the work, to take into consideration the social and cultural situation in which the work was written, and, as the result of doing all this, to arrive at an interpretation of the work that represents the composer's original intention.

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