Journey of 100
At the Jr. B# Musical Club of Central New York, 7 pm
My performance tonight is part of an evening that includes Helden Tenor Jon Frederik West giving a talk about the role of Samson in Camille Saint-Saens’ Samson and Dalilah – a MET Opera HD world-wide theatrical broadcast this Saturday afternoon.
What a great night. My friend and colleague Jon Frederick West started the evening out with a super presentation on Samson and Dalilah – MET’s upcoming HD Theatrical Broadcast, this Saturday afternoon.
The tiny room was packed with young musicians, some of whom I have coached in the past – Jr. High and High School players all from within about 50 miles around Utica. Like this morning, I let the music flow where it would, and in the interests of making an early evening for all, I only took a few of the repeats. 🙂 . Thank you to Sar Strong, Senior Advisor/Coordinator of the Jr. B# Club, for inviting me.
Program opens with Schumann Sonata #1 in a, Op. 105, with Sar-Shalom Strong, Piano
Utica College Jackson Lunch Hour Series. 12:30P.M.
In my most recent post, I wrote about seeking the balance between pulse and freedom – between expressing Bach’s internal structure and the freedom of flow, in doing so.
I decided for today’s performance to allow my impulse for flow to lead the way. To be honest I am not certain how I feel about the results, there was a recording made and I will listen – I was deep into flow most all of the way through. I also made both repeats in the Corrente and Giga (this may sound really picky to some of you readers, but truly, it isn’t) and felt the results were “right”. There is another performance tonight, so I will see later where it all ends up.
This 39th performance in the Journey of 100 was a house warming concert for Robert, Deborah and their friends. Before starting, I described my intention through the series of performances to more deeply explore the rapport between a Divine musical work, the listeners and me the performer. After hearing some of the audience’s response to the music I began to feel in awe of the potential Music has to open connections between us as people because it was clear that folks felt moved, seemingly more connected with themselves and with the composer’s spirit.
It has been over a year since performance #38 and to be honest, I have not missed the piece. Yet as I write this morning, I am totally enthused about getting back inside it for the performances coming up this week.
Last night I continued to explore the balance between creative freedom in the timing of the phrases and liberties with the rhythmic pulse (for example how far I might move away from a metronome’s steady beat), and sticking with pulse – the powerful framework in all of Johan Sebastian’s music. Towards the beginning of playing I felt self conscious at times that I was manipulating the phrases rather than responding to the inner guidance of the music.
Another aspect that I must rethink is how to handle the repeats written in each of the two sections of the Allemande, Corrente, Sarabande and Gigs (the first four movements) – generally I take the first repeat and not the second. I wonder if this is somehow undermining the long-form flow of the work because the Ciaconna (the last movement) is a simple flow of variations, with no repeats at all.
I am looking forward to re-connecting with this work that I performed last week with the painters in Tim and Lala’s art studio. Tonight is for a few friends, old and new.
Tonite was one of the performances for which I did not specially prepare, as I have been working hard all week for the Conference. My focus was to just let go, and allow the piece to play itself, so to speak. The hall without people is very resonant, and I found myself just allowing the tones to have lots of time, so the rhythmic framework was quite free. I am not sure this is good, nor am I sure it is bad. I also noticed that a few little errors have crept in here and there and they need to be given some “discipline” to get them back in line.
My next step is to find a way to take my playing of the work from where it is now (pretty good) to a much higher level; how to do that is not yet clear to me.