Ringvorlesung Artistic Reasearch - Knowing in Performing

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am 05.05.2020 18 00

VORTRAGENDE/R: David Dolan

Classical Improvisation as a Meeting Point of Structural Awareness, Spontaneity and Risk-Taking


While the ability of music “to improve our manners and our souls” (Aristotle, Politics book 8, chapter V) has been recognised throughout times universally, musical authorities from CPE Bach, through Chopin, Arthur Rubinstein to Robert Levin today, keep reminding us that for that to happen, performers must bring – in addition to mastery of their instrument and the works performed - authentic expression, spontaneity and attitude of presence and risk-taking.

Extemporising used to be a natural part of Western music making up until the 19th century (some significant performers continued this tradition into the early 20th century). Audiences back then were expecting to be surprised when listening to a piece even if they knew it well, as the performance culture treated the performer as a creator.
This session will open with an overview of improvisation in western art-music and propose how to revive this mode of music-making, both in solo and ensemble contexts. This, by combining the use of know-how (structural, stylistic, textural and harmonic awareness) with real-time flow, playfulness and spontaneity. Active listening, awareness of emotional expression and communication are also a part of the work.
We will introduce introductory exercises of improvising in classical & baroque stylistic languages as well as tonally-free. We will then move to work on repertoire works by searching for their harmonic/structural reductions and elaborating those reductions through extemporisations towards one’s interpretation of the actual score. Improvised repeats, preludes and interludes, as well as fermata points and cadenzas, will also be introduced.

Eintritt frei

Zeit & Ort der Veranstaltung

05.05. von 18:00 bis 20:00
Hauptgebäude, Bauteil C/Fanny Hensel-Saal
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1
1030 Wien
zum Lageplan in MDWonline