MOYSE SAID...Continued

      CPE Bach wrote to his father to ask, ‘Should I start this trill from the upper note? His father (JS Bach) replied, ‘Yes of course’. I am sure JS didn’t want all trills to start from the upper note, but because of this letter, everyone starts all trills from the top whether it sounds right or not. It is wrong to do this: use your brains.
 Handel Sonatas: I am a bad teacher for this music. I did study the G minor, B Minor and G Major Sonatas with Tafanel.
I don’t play French style, or German style or other styles: I try to play in the music whatever the composer requires.
I am not a musicologist: I don’t know the music of Monteverdi, Vivaldi and others. I analyse music by instinct and sentiment.
In Germany they have many players who spend their time looking at Bach and saying, ‘Is this a grupetto or a trill or something?’ The music for me lives by its life and not by musicology.
‘I want to hear the notes!.’ Someone will say, ‘Oh it is the value of the notes he wants?’. No, it is not the value but the effect of the value.?
Your staccato is like noodles: wet and limp.
If one person in a hundred understands you, it is enough.
Notebook No.4. 1968
Articulation: you should practice with a good violinist; they understand.
I have often been asked why I didn’t record Bach. Firstly, it is too difficult and secondly, no one will be happy. Someone in Copenhagen will not like it and someone in London will not like it and someone in Zurich will not be happy…
Bach: Play the appoggiatura with love.
Some peasants were talking about a new doctor – is he good?. One peasant said, ‘I will try him’ ‘Doctor, I have a pain in my stomach and sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down’. The doctor knew he was trying to be funny, so he replied: ‘You have gas and it doesn’t know which way to go because your face looks the same as your bottom!’.   
  Don’t play that way because I ask it of you, but because you love it.
When you play this aria (Mozart) the silence becomes part of the music – it is so beautiful.
I learnt with Hennebains how to place a note with the tip of the tongue between the lips: like pulling a cork  out of a bottle – but a SMALL cork!
If you join your notes like a plumber joining pipes, you will have some water for your kitchen.
 Taffanel’s music: People say this music is empty and no good. It is the intelligence of the people which is empty because they don’t understand.
If you do not kiss your audience, they will not kiss you.
Do not forget that the flute is an instrument poor in ‘dramatique’.
I consider the flute to be terrible fortress! But even with an impregnable fortress, there is always a little way in.
Don’t blow in the flute: give it your warm breath.
I detest the flutist who says, ‘Play this note softer’. The student will play it softer but not understand why.
If you take a breath, this I can accept – but if you stop the music, this I cannot accept.
Play the music the feeling way not the cerebral way.  
A piano accompaniment for the Moyse 24 Studies is available here:-
I questioned him in the late 1970’s about Debussy’s Syrinx and wrote the following notes.  ‘I played from the original manuscript’, he told me.  He described it as large double page with the music double-spaced and entitled ‘La flute de Pan.There were maybe one or two wrong notes and a barline missing’. (The latter is important because another player claims that Moyse said, ‘There were no barlines’ . He was mistaken, probably due to Moyse’s accent and unclear diction.  Moyse was quite clear, ‘One barline missing’ .  Long after Moyse died, this description is  borne out by the finding of the Brussel’s manuscript copy of Syrinx: The music is double spaced; there’s a wrong note and only one barline missing. Also, there is no accent on the B three bars from the end. As Moye told me, ‘I believe it was a diminuendo’.

For further reading, see his book:
Marcel Moyse. An Extraordinary Man. A Musical Biography. Winzer Press    $22.95