5 Things Classical Musicians should know about being in a Band

So, why aren’t you in a band anyway? One of the things I think all Classical Music students (especially performers) should be required to do is play in a band.  No, this doesn’t mean they should take up a guitar, bass, drums, or sing.  What this does mean is that it should become an integral part of the performing experience–even if for just a semester.  Learning the ropes on how to put together a set, getting booked, and dealing with a non concert hall type of venue would do more for teaching kids about the business of music than a class would, I’d think.  Along the way, students would also be able to dispel a lot of myths about the Pop Music scene that we romanticize as a result of media representation or unrealistic portrayals of the industry through engagement with big name Pop Superstars.

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Reveling in Ravel while Lost in a sea of scores…

Duo Parnas

As I search through the duo violin/cello repertoire I’m finding so many interesting gems as well as polished turds.  Not that the latter are bad things but when you’re working with others you obviously just can’t take your own taste into account.

The past couple of weeks Thursday afternoon I’ve been reading through movements of the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Cello.  It’s a work I never had the opportunity to publicly perform though I did spend some time learning and performing in a masterclass with members of the American String Quartet.  It’s a delightful piece which requires the player to be somewhat agile.  But for some reason back then (and now) I find it fits much of my skill set very well and I really don’t find it that cumbersomely difficult.

I’m remembering back then and the resources I had–a taped copy of Jaime Laredo and Leslie Parnas (ironically, I couldn’t remember who the cellist was and had to look it up) from a Marlboro Festival recording and a couple of other recordings of artists I can’t even recall now in the Music Library of my music school.  It’s doubly ironic as I loved the live video (which seems to be no longer available on Youtube) of duo Parnas (granddaughters of Leslie Parnas).

Despite the absence of the Duo Parnas video, that is something that has changed–there are tons of videos of this work by artists of various skill levels.  In some cases, the videos are just stills of recordings with the audio as a soundtrack.  The wealth and ease of information we have in this day and age is just astounding!

Continue reading “Reveling in Ravel while Lost in a sea of scores…”