Interpretations, Renditions and Improvisations

“Mr Gershwin, music is music” – Alban Berg to George Gershwin

But when is music “Music”? Perhaps it would be best not to aim so high and be content with just making music (so to speak). Nevertheless I am keen to find the right balance between the formal/informal (or art/popular) when performing or indeed practicing piano. So in this somewhat formal situation of a recital I would like to actually play (or maybe perform) what I practice. What do I practice? It’s a combination of notated, semi-notated (chord structures and melodies) and freely improvised (metric and non-metric, tonal and atonal) music: Interpretations, renditions and improvisations. Tonight will include Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Prokofiev, Schoenberg and songs from folk music and the American Songbook. The choice of what to play and when will be somewhat free flowing: to paraphrase Miles Davis, I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later. I aspire to the condition of Charles Ives’ music (articulately described below by pianist Tamara Stefanovich) but fully appreciate that it may never be realised!

Ives combines ragtime music with seemingly dreamlike improvisations. It includes experimental elements and memories of popular American music such as church hymns. It is for me daring and courageous because it has no pretentions of being an important statement: it just surfs on a sea rich with different styles and expression.”

I’ll be playing this solo piano recital on 6th December 2016 at Burgh House, Hampstead.

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