I love the wild not less than the good
Jeremy Denk writing an account of editing during the making of a recording of the playing of the “Concord:”
[W]e find ourselves trying to cobble together a note-perfect devil. Part of me wants to keep the wildest one, with all its imperfections; as Thoreau said, “I love the wild not less than the good.” But Adam [the recording editor] is convinced that we can have the notes and the wild. There is the vanity of editing yourself to be a perfect version of yourself, but there’s the vanity of loving your imperfections, too. … I reflect with satisfaction that I have drawn him into my insanity.
[E]diting turns out to be even more nerve-racking than recording. In the moment of playing, the logistics of just hitting the notes distract you from the continuos choices you are making. In the edit you have nothing but choices. And yet you feel helpless, since everything has already been played.
Read the piece in its entirety while listening to Denk’s performance of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze from 2010. Not a needless note.