What’s The Point Of Public Performance In An Age Of Recording?

Charles Rosen explains: “For the modern sensibility, the public performance is the final realisation of the work of music. In spite of the rich tradition of private and semiprivate music making in the centuries before our own, it is with the presentation in public that the performance of a work comes completely into its own, attains its full existence. We must rephrase the question “for whom does one play in public?”: the odd aesthetic objectivity, real or mythical, demands the form “for what does one play?” One plays for the music.”