I am an amateur music lover.
When getting to know a composers’ music I always try to understand the person behind the music in an attempt to understand the music better. I know about all the different philosophies of how art must exist on its own and that it is about the art, not the artist.
As I an artist myself, I know how many things influence the way the artist think and create. But every individual does have something unique inside of him. His personal “fingerprint” he leaves on his creative work. I do not know if anybody can really define just what it is, but to my mind your personality and your way of thinking must play a major role.
On attending a recent piano recital featuring Shubert sonatas I came away very dissatisfied. The Schubert sonatas are some of my favourite piano works. I knew I heard a note perfect recital with a technical brilliant interpretation. But still something was missing.
I have a mental picture of Shubert. When I listen to the Sonatas I hear the thinker. The works are less planned and structurally organized than say, Beethoven. The melody meanders like a train of thought. On reading biographical work on his life he seems to be an introvert, quiet and shy in larger groups, at home with a circle of friends making music at the local cafe or bar. He liked reading poems and experienced them deeply. From these readings his numerous songs then developed.
Based on these personality traits I enjoy his chamber music best if it is played without bravado, almost as if it is improvised while playing.