The terrible truth is that feeling really does have to be learned. It comes spontaneously when one is in love, or when somebody important dies; but people like you and me – interpretative artists – have to learn also to recapture those feelings, and transform them into something we can offer to the world in our performances. You know what Heine says…”Out of my great sorrows I make my little songs.”…And what we make out of the feelings like brings us is something a little different, something not quite so shattering but very much more polished and perhaps also more poignant, than the feelings themselves. Your jealousy – it hurts now, but…you’ll never have to guess at what jealousy means again, when you meet with it in music…Everybody claims to have been in love, but to love so that you can afterward distill something from it which makes other people know what love is or reminds them forcibly – that takes an artist.
ROBERTSON DAVIES, A Mixture of Frailties