The process of selecting repertoire is complex be it for myself or for others.
The selection of concerto or chamber repertoire is a decision making process based on many interests. For example Brahms' piano concerto II requires an outstanding French horn player and an excellent cellist, and of course a fantastic conductor for a successful performance. All those parameters need to be in place before conductor, orchestra board and soloist make this repertoire decision. (Of course patrons' expectations, finances and many other factors play huge additional roles).
The selection of solo repertoire on the other hand should be easy since it's just the pianist, shouldn't it?
This is my list of some of the things to consider when selecting repertoire for solo performance:
- Will I be able to do both the work and the composer justice?
- What work fits exactly into an intelligently designed concert program already containing works X, Y and Z?
- Will my audience appreciate the composition?
- Do I?
- Can I imagine exactly how the piece should sound best?
- Will I be able to make the piece sound good and structurally tight?
So I try to look carefully at a work of music and its surroundings before committing it to a concert program. Every concert and every carefully crafted program either contributes to further tire classical audiences, or it contributes to pass on the incredible spark only live music can ignite.
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall? - Practice, practice, practice!”
There is a lot of truth to this famous joke, but being a musician is not all about practice. Some aspects of our lives as musicians are seemingly unimportant and definitely less talked about. One of them is the question of what to wear on stage.
Enjoy the romantic beauty of Leos Janacek’s “A blown away Leaf” from his collection called “On an overgrown Path”
I love staying fit and I love to swim listening to my favorite tunes. Following my first blog about swimming with music I got an overwhelming 'wave' of reactions. So many of you offered creative comments and great new ideas for swimming music - thank you!
The last of two books, Feux d’artifice finishes the cycle of preludes by Claude Debussy with a festive display of fireworks, both as a musical image and as a pianistic challenge.
Feeling in the mood for a vacation? Listen to Sonetto 104 and take a trip to Italy!
Sonetto del Petrarca is part of the collection ‘Years of Pilgrimage’, a set of travel impression put to music by Franz Liszt in the most magnificent operatic way. The poem Sonetto 104 by the Renaissance humanist Petrarch focuses on a comparison between love and war as seen through the eyes of a warrior.
Time to celebate!
It has been one year since I joined my gym, and I am loving it! I am going regularly three or four times a week, and it has been fun to find out, how getting fit helps my piano playing.
Intensity and focus are just some of the words that come to mind, when I play ‘Le Vent dans La Plaine’. I love how the piece paints a picture of gusting winds, slamming windows shutters and blowing leaves.
I just returned from my China Tour 2018. What a wonderful success! I loved playing there, getting involved with teaching and judging, and I was able to use my still somewhat rudimentary Mandarin all the time. It was so much fun to be able to make new friends and to see so many different things. Looking back there were so many things I truly loved about my visit. Here are four of them...
Happy Valentines Day! What a beautiful celebration of love and romance. For me this is definitely a time to start thinking about Spring.
Playing Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard music is a great pleasure and also a big challenge. Besides the complications of playing baroque ornamentations, of mastering the rather difficult technical requirements, and of simply finding a compelling interpretation of a piece written so long ago, there’s also the huge question of truthfulness to a historic interpretation.