As interpreters we have to tell a story with every piece we play. To best do his, we need to study how a work is put together structurally as best we can. In addition anything we can learn about the style of the music as well as the composers influences and inspirations will be of great value.
I ask my students to ask themselves what the character of the given phrase is. We have as our tools, dynamics, articulations, rubati, retardandi, accelerandi, and vibrato to make this given phrase come alive. Daniel Barenboim has stated that the score was 50% of the piece. If that is so, then we need to pour our hearts and imagination into every phrase . By not doing so, we are cheating the composer, the audience and ourselves.