Bridging the Divide Between the Soloist and the Ensemble Player
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In conservatories and music schools, the general practice for an aspiring pianist is to focus on solo performance learning mainly solo repertoire. With the advent of the advanced degree in collaborative piano, pianists could submerge themselves in the study of duo sonatas, larger chamber music ensembles, and art song. The appearance of this degree was an important step in the development of pianists, as this kind of work requires specific training and focus to master the vast repertoire involved. However it also more clearly brought out the invisible divide separating the solo pianist from the collaborative pianist, a.k.a. the accompanist. While geniuses such as Bach, Beethoven and Brahms were known to compose and perform all types of music, the appearance of super stars such as Liszt and Paganini helped bring into being the term accompanist and since then music world has tacitly embraced this divide. The goal of my dissertational study is to show that this divide need not exist. The three recitals which comprise this dissertational project were all performed at the University of Maryland, the first on 12 November 2010 at Gildenhom Recital Hall, the second at Ulrich Recital Hall on 10 September 2011, and the third at Gildenhorn Recital Hall on 11 November 2011. The repertoire included Rachmaninoff Prelude in g# minor op. 32 no. 12 and Etude-Tableaux in Eb minor op. 29 no. 5, Brahms Sonata for Piano and Violin in d minor op. 108, Mendelssohn Piano Trio in d minor op. 49, Chopin Sonata No.2 in Bb minor, Franck Sonata for Piano and Violin, Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2 in g minor op. 16 with pianist Elizabeth Brown as orchestra, Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in A op 47 (Kreutzer), and Paul Schoenfield Cafe Music. All works with violin and cello were performed with violinist Rebecca Racusin, and cellist Devree Lewis. The recitals were recorded on compact discs and are archived within the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland(DRUM).