I quite enjoy reading pianist/composer/writer Stephen Hough’s posts on culture at The Telegraph; I also follow him on Twitter. He commented on learning one of his own compositions – his 2nd Sonata – in preparation for an upcoming recital in London. From an interesting conversation with someone on Twitter:
Tweet by Stephen: Learning my 2nd Sonata. When I get to a difficult passage it’s tempting to re-write. Must resist! It’s not my piece anymore.
BD: But sure that’s a composer’s prerogative…? Poulenc apparently did it all the time, modifying bits in performance.
Stephen Hough: Yes and no. There has to come a moment when a newly-composed piece is pushed away from the shore and you play it as if detached.
Photo by Christian Steiner at StephenHough.com