Sneaking Away with the Keys

Michael Hovnanian wrote a very amusing, yet also deeply felt and thought-provoking post on his blog a few days ago.

I’ve done my share of playing in big orchestras–maybe not the full share I wish I had, because I love the sound and feel and power of playing the “big” repertoire–but enough to have experienced some of the sort of frustration that Michael occasionally discusses in his blog. It can be very disheartening to feel that one has little input into the decisions made musically, or to cower–figuratively–in a corner of your technique, worrying that you aren’t doing it the right way–whether that’s your bow stroke or your fingering or how you count rests or turn pages.

In a smaller group, each member has much more responsibility, authority and input. Playing new repertoire, there isn’t yet a right way to do it. Playing with colleagues entirely of your own choosing, there is a mutual respect and nonjudgmental teaching and learning. In Michael’s words, I hope that the Chicago Bass Ensemble is sneaking away with the keys.

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