Updated: Aug 18
The newly invented piano (1727, cast your minds back) was immediately welcomed as a unique keyboard instrument in that it could at once evoke the singing voice and its accompaniment. Let’s think about that for a minute (or for a lifetime, whichever you prefer): the human voice remains forever compelling because of its richness, its immediacy, its vulnerability, its variability. The piano can evoke all of those qualities IF and only IF the mechanics of muscle memory do not drown them out.
New audience members have asked me, in fact, how I can stand having to repeat the same piece over and over in order to learn it. They are shocked when I tell them I refuse to do that: I will not commit that kind of murder, either of the music or of myself. : )