Chaconne #43 – Spring Hill Farm Artists’ Retreat

This performance, arranged at the last minute, was somewhat raw from my point of view, yet (seemingly) extraordinarily powerful for the artists and their companions who were attending.

In our training as violinists, polished performance is a professional essential.  However I am reminded by this evening that the spiritual and emotional power of Music transcends all the notions of “polished performance” we are trained to set as standards and goals.  In fact, without it we accomplish little for others, and diminish the return for ourselves.

I feel privileged to have been invited by retreat leaders Tim Hawkesworth and Lala Zeitlin, and for being so well received by the artists with whom they are working.  My thanks to you all.

It’s All About Love – Feb 16, 2019, 7:30 pm

Robert Burkhardt, Oxana Mikhailoff, Shem Guibbory

Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Gershwin/Heifetz and Beethoven

 

 

Bronxville Womens Club – 7:30pm Saturday February 16thhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-about-love-robert-burkhart-cello-oxana-mikhailoff-piano-shem-guibbory-violin-tickets-54664370604

 

Chaconne #42 – December 20, 2018 NYC – Private performance

This performance was a home-coming for me – so many colleagues and friends from early on in my career, folks to whom I have looked up all my life. Although I wasn’t nervous, I do want to say that I had some trepidation about presenting to these superbly knowledgeable musicians my intensely personal artistic vision of J.S. Bach and his music. Somehow it seemed to go well and all were enthusiastic in their appreciation – phew!

In talking afterwards with my life-long friend Earl Howard – composer, instrumentalist – I started to get an idea of a new kind of sound that I might bring to the Bach works – one in which my particular violin and it’s unique sound would play a large part. More on this as the Journey of 100 continues.

Chaconne #41 – Oct 17, 2108 Jr. B# Musical Club

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.

Chaconne #39 – Private performance, Sag Harbor, NY – October 13, 2018

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.