On virtuosity in music
March, 24; 2020. By
Virtuosity in music is something very special, which must always be taken into account, but its limitations in terms of greatness and glory must also be recognized. That is to say, virtuosity is very good, it is a good thing, but it conflicts with compositional skill and, being this the most outstanding aptitude in the world of music, virtuosity is perhaps somewhat obscured compared to the aforementioned gift of composition.

Paganini with his devilish violin is the character and musician who best adapts to the definition of "virtuous", but we can also verify, in line with what will be commented on in this text, that his compositional work is less important.

In music there are two domains, that of composition and that of performance that are frequently juxtaposed. For the taste of this publisher, it is the domain of composition mentioned that is the true engine of music, since good compositions, due to their scarcity, are highly appreciated. Furthermore, if we look at various works considered "good" or "important" within the field of music, such as Beethoven's 5th Symphony or other works by Mozart, we will see that virtuosity is not necessary to interpret them well; a good symphony orchestra is necessary, but although its passages have a medium-high performance difficulty, they do not reach the level of virtuosity.

For this reason we can appreciate that genius, or in the flamenco field, the "duende", moves within the medium-high level of interpretation, without reaching pure virtuosity, which belongs, as we have said, to the domain of interpretation, and therefore it is a minor gift. Thus, we can mention two 20th century flamenco guitarists, Paco de Lucía and Manitas de plata, for example, and appreciate that the latter performed much more complex songs at the level of touch, but nevertheless Lucia's songs reach our soul, also drinking from a certain virtuosity, but with a self-censorship that prevented Paco from showing all the complexity of flamenco in public.

Thus, we can say that, as in the Spanish card game of the mus, the composer plays "big" while the virtuous interpreter plays "small", and that although both are capable of winning a game, the profit of who bets "big", if he actually wins, is much higher.