I am involved in a wonderful discussion about the role of the soloist and the accompanist in the creation of musical works. Dr. Kennith Freeman and I are engaged in an internet discussion about a recent experience in Houston, Texas when we performed together for the first time. The event was called “Mosaic” and we collaborated across the miles in the United States before we met, each with different ideas and ideologies about how a performance should go.
When we first got together, there was a meeting of the minds and personalities, each from different backgrounds and yet very similar. Kennith was used to just being in a subordinate role as an accompanist on the piano, not an integral part of the performance (my take on the situation) where I was of a different mindset, both the pianist and the clarinetist are integral parts of any performance and presentation. What evolved was very satisfying for both of us and began to open new doors of performance communication.
We began working on the Brahms, opus 120 and the initial read through was good, but was lacking. We were coming together with accuracy and noting each rhythmic complexity with an eye to individualistic comparisons. This soon changed as we began working the first movement with definitions developing about how we believed an Allegro Amabile should be performed. Suggested metronome markings were discussed and the supposed validity of the markings themselves as related to the music and the performers. The brief discussion opened new ways of interpretation as we began again in earnest to put this piece together.
In the opening statement, we both relaxed and allowed the piece to find it’s natural “friendly” tempo between the two of us, becoming a small ensemble instead of two accomplished players in this field. As the music came to life, nuances began to appear without being discussed verbally, instead each of us contributed and the notes began to leap off the page with a vibrancy neither of us realized at the time.
On the second day of rehearsal, we began with the first movement and both of us stopped, together I might add, as we were taken aback at what had just happened. Musically, the expression of the piece came out, with little conscious effort on our parts, just allowing it to flow and follow it’s natural course.
More later, keep checking back!