I am watching, on my television, Eric Lu’s Leeds Piano Competition performance of the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4, a performance I earlier listened to on the radio. My impression from the radio was that this was a rather “private” performance, and somewhat more so than I think ideal. But the exact same performance, on TV, now seems, perhaps because the public nature of the event itself is inescapable, much less private than I had supposed from the radio. Every bit as good as I recall, but different. More assertive, more rhetorical, more like a Shakespeare soliloquy spoken out loud, and quite loudly, to a theatre audience than the same soliloquy done as a stream-of-consciousness interior thought process, perhaps also on the radio. Odd how the medium can have such an impact on the message.
Now I am watching a Chinese guy play the Schumann concerto. And the contrast in how it comes across is exactly the same as with Lu’s Beethoven performance.