Context and beauty

“When you’re young, you can be taken with the impulse of the moment and the beauty of a phrase, but the older you get, the more you see that the phrase is only beautiful because of the context within which it works.  The melody is only the outward manifestation of something quite deep inside and it’s to come to terms with this that one studies.”

Pianist Murray Perahia.  Cited in: Nick Shave, “Mull Over Beethoven”, BBC Music, July 2009, p.27.