In science and mathematics building on the work of others to obtain deeper discoveries and more powerful explanations is essential to progress in these fields. But even if your results reach much deeper and wider than those of your older colleagues, this in no way negates the value of the latter's contributions to the discipline.
In music, on the other hand, things can be strikingly different. If someone takes the formal, stylistic, thematic, and harmonic elements of your compositions and uses them to create deeper, richer, and more powerful music, chances are good that he will get all the credit from posterity, while you will end up being royally fucked. Your music will be all but unknown to future generations of music lovers because it will be ignored by performers, dismissed by composition teachers, overlooked by record companies, and denigrated (if mentioned at all) by popular accounts of the history of music.
I can think of no better example of such victimhood than the fate which eventually befell the piano concertos of Friedrich Kalkbrenner and Johann Nepmuk Hummel after Chopin had published his two works in this genre. Although Chopin had all but aped Kalkbrenner's D-minor concerto, and also used Hummel's A-minor concerto as a model, his works have eclipsed the earlier concertos so completely that regular concertgoers in the 20th century would go to their graves without having heard a single performance of Kaklbrenner's or Hummel's works. And while there must have been hundreds of recordings of the Chopin concertos issued by record companies large and small since the late 1920s, I don't think there have been more than two recordings made of Kalkbrenner's D-minor and more than five or six of Hummel's A-minor - all seemingly motivated more by the music's historical curiosity than by its unjustly neglected aesthetic merits.
I don't mean to suggest that this situation in music is in some sense "unfair". Unlike with science and mathematics, our appreciation of musical works has a significant emotional dimension. (I know a mathematician who gets teary-eyed every time he listens to a particular recording of Beim Schlafengehen, but I doubt he ever shed a tear while contemplating mathematical theorems.) As a listener whose ears have been conditioned by Chopin's melodic gift and harmonic inventiveness, I certainly feel some degree of superficiality in the concertos of Kalbrenner and Hummel (much more so with Kalkbrenner). And if my response is typical, I don't see anything unfair in the fact that concert pianists would much rather try to impress their audience with music that penetrates to the bone marrow than with music that only tickles the skin or massages the muscles, however pleasant the sensation may be. Still, the concertos of Kalkbrenner and Hummel have undeniable charm, and, at least once in a while, I would prefer to hear a concert performance of one of them instead of enduring another routine performance of the overplayed and over-recorded Chopin concertos. In fact, I would go as far as to claim that people unfamiliar with the piano music of Chopin's largely forgotten near-contemporaries have only a superficial appreciation of Chopin's musical genius.
Such idle thoughts should reveal the extent of my ongoing obsession with the Chopin concertos, or rather with his E-minor concerto, of which I must have dozens of recordings (augmented by vague memories of ten times as many concert and broadcast performances). Obsessed I may be, but that doesn't mean that Ilya Rashkovsky's excellen live recording is just another item added indiscriminately to my alarmingly growing Chopin database. Rashkovsky's very focused, slightly hard (but never brittle) tone has the kind of luminosity I find indispensable for communicating the melancholy of Chopin's achingly arched melodies. With introverted but gracefully shaped phrasing, Rashkovsky's performance gives an attractively classical feel to this quintessentially Romantic concerto - which is something I always prefer to rubato-laden, metrically unstable, dynamically volatile, and technically exhibitionistic performances. And although the tempos are decidedly on the slow side, I never felt they were dragging. I think Rashkovsky really prefers to give a more generous time scale to the music he plays, as witnessed by his (less successfully sustained) slow tempo in the Arioso of Beethoven's Op.110 which he played at the van Cliburn Competition.
I hope to hear more of Rashkovsky' playing in the future.