Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preparing to Perform to a Close-up Audience

My ideal listening situation has come to be the boite* in Brooklyn where my daughter performs once a month.  (A boite--French for "box"-- is a small square room behind a bar--a small performance space.)  I enjoy everything about it, most especially the sense of community among the listeners, and the evident fragility of performers so close to their listeners.

It dawns upon me that this has inspired my ongoing series of in-house recitals.  I am aware of how different it is to prepare for these events than to prepare formal recitals for, say, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, where I have performed both solo and ensemble recitals countless times in the past 35 years.

The main difference is that the intimate circumstance engages my ear differently:  I seek out the more subtle elements of drama.  Projection is irrelevant.  Pianissimo becomes fortissimo.

My current repertoire is Schubert and Dvorak, two very intimate writers for the piano. 

* There should be a circumflex over the i but I can't figure out how to put one there.