Roy Howat

Posted on January 22nd, 2010 by


Roy Howat
In Peter and Neil Heyde I feel absolute kindred spirits in exploring and performing music.  We’ve all worked personally with composers, and I like to think that we play any work, regardless of its period, as if it’s being played for the first time.  It really can feel like having the composer by our shoulders if we can sense the many ways they communicate with us via the page.  The Royal Academy of Music’s performance-research culture feeds this (and we hope we feed it), in terms of exploring what composers imagined, what they really wrote (as opposed sometimes to what’s printed, entailing making new editions if need be), how they expected to hear (and heard) their music played, what they liked and wrote for in their colleagues’ playing, and how we can bring all that to life without being artificial or historically quaint.  We love and venerate great performances from over the ears, but all the same we want to learn direct from the composers rather than rote tradition.  We also all love the visual arts and literature, and the way they have poured into the content of the music we play.