In concerts, pieces are performed straight through, with (one hopes) little evidence of the challenges the players faced in putting it together. Many audience members have not had the chance to watch a group rehearse, and I think that’s a shame, for a couple of reasons.
I’ve heard many audience members use words like “magical” and “mysterious” to describe an ensemble at work, and though that’s flattering, it’s also a little misleading. Though a great performance will contain both magic and mystery, how that performance gets assembled is really interesting, and witnessing the process makes the players and our work seem less unusual, something I think everyone benefits from. This Friday night, if you’re in Cincinnati, you’ll get the chance to see how it all works.
The give and take of rehearsal is, to me, the most satisfying (and sometimes, frustrating) part of being in a chamber ensemble. Each member may have wildly differing opinions about how fast the piece should go, how long or short the notes should be played, or whose part should be heard most clearly in a given section.
Results may vary.
In all seriousness, the compromise and collaboration that take place in rehearsal make playing chamber music so special. As I’ve written before here, it’s also a great model for human behavior, one which is particularly needed these days, and one which we look forward to sharing with children in our school program next fall (more details on that in the days ahead – we are finalizing arrangements with Cincinnati Public Schools to be the ensemble in residence at a school newly designated as an arts magnet!).
We also want to share it with you – and you’ll get the chance to watch us rehearse this Friday (June 3), from 6 to 9 P.M., at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s beautiful Lindner Annex (6620 Montgomery Road). The KHAC is 4-Way’s fiscal agent, and has graciously included us in this month’s Open Studios, where resident artists show and discuss their work. There will be food and drinks, as well as the opening of Kate Kern’s new exhibit, “Drawing on Second Sight,” in the gallery pictured above.
So get some wine, pull up a chair and watch us put together quartets by Haydn and Brahms. We’ll pause from time to time to answer questions, too. Maybe you’re interested in seeing musicians collaborate, maybe you’re thinking about hosting a house concert for us, or maybe you just want to hear some great music – whatever your reason for coming, it should be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!
Till next time,