Monday, July 21, 2008

What Is Your Core Repertoire?

In the course of studies, work, teaching, and performances, collaborative pianists are known for being able to play an incredibly diverse amount of music. However, many pianists have a tendency to return to and become known for working with specific instruments, voices, genres, and composers.

Whether you end up playing violin concertos, bel canto arias, French opera, musical theater, cello sonatas, Schubert lieder, trombone works, or new work, specialization can bring a focus to your work and help you to develop a niche for yourself in the profession. Today's question deals with the repertoire that you specialize in, either as a result of your own interest and abilities, or having fallen into it:

What is your core repertoire?

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  1. Anonymous4:24 AM

    très bon blog
    bonne continuation

  2. I have to answer this in two parts.

    Part 1: Classical Repertoire - For some reason, I'm always drawn to Debussy and Spanish music. I decided to prepare a Baroque piece for Piano Camp and who do I pick? Antonio Soler - Spanish.

    Part 2: Gig Repertoire - I play wedding and background music at events. My core repertoire that I cycle through includes everything from Gershwin to Beatles and from Billy Joel up to Pirates of the Caribbean.

    As for wedding gig tunes, it's the usual shtick: Trumpet Voluntary, Bridal Chorus, Wedding March, Ave Maria, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and of course - Pachelbel's Canon.

  3. String rep in general is definitely my core rep - I love it all! The violin concerti alone have been responsible for a huge portion of my work, though lately, cellists have started kicking it up a notch, and I adore viola.

    But... I have a good base on clarinet and horn rep, too. I have basics (mostly) for most winds and brass, but I just really like clarinet and horn, so I've gotten more of them. As well, singers have been calling me lately, and I'm really enjoying it, even though my voice rep, compared to my string rep, is zero. I had enough voice experience to be functional but not more, but somehow, just by being reasonably reliable and a good reader, I'm getting lots of wonderful time with great singers! I'm definitely developing a real taste for bel canto. There's not enough time in the world to play everything, but I can see something else I'd love to get into...

    My first ensemble partner was a violinist - we were 6 or so. It just kept happening that way growing up - I just kept finding myself with one violin or one cello at a time. By college I had played a number of substantial string works, and in college, it was just exponential. I am grateful for so many terrific string players growing up!

  4. My turn to chime in...

    Over the last few years, I've specialized in different areas of the rep at different times, including the violin concerto, sonata, and encore repertoire, tons of viola rep, and most of the standard flute, oboe, and horn concertos. I work with a lot of singers, so I play a lot of the standard opera and oratorio rep. When I play agency auditions I need to have most of the standard opera arias under my fingers.

    But what I end up playing more and more often these days in Toronto is new works for the opera stage, through my association with Tapestry New Opera Works.

  5. Anonymous3:38 AM

    Previously I played mostly standard voice rep with a good mix of woodwinds [clarinet and flute mainly (clarinet rep always seemed to be the most fun :) ].

    That's changed to primarily Musical Theatre [new and old] with church repertoire on the side.

    While I'll still accompany anything that pays, I've been putting my own time mostly into the MusicalTheatre rep. I'd love to get back into the Clarinet rep again one day, and maybe pick up that Brahms trio I adore. We'll see what happens!!

  6. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Gigs: ballet music and improv, church services and choral cheese, musical theatre with a smattering of pop and jazz; lately standard vocal and clarinet rep, and G&S.

    For self: It's gone from chamber music while a still a student, to piano trio (while it lasted). My secret mistress now is solo repertoire.