The Collaborative Process: Strategies for Having an Easy Experience with Difficult Repertoire
Dr. Hristina Blagoeva
The Collaborative Process: Strategies for Having an Easy Experience with Difficult Repertoire Topics covered: collaborating with pianists; difficult flute repertoire; difficult collaborative repertoire; effective rehearsal strategies; effective communication techniques; principles of effective collaborative performances Summary of the lecture: One of the less explored areas of flute performance is the collaborative process. As students, amateurs, or professionals, usually the amount of the time the musicians get to spend with each other is very short, posing challenges to making an effective collaboration in just a few rehearsals. On the other hand, sometimes a flutist and pianist can develop a long-standing relationship involving many years of playing and performing together, which can present its own challenges as well. We will use one of the most difficult pieces in the flute repertoire to illustrate our points: the Flute Sonata by Prokofiev, op. 94. This piece was chosen not only for the difficulty of the flute part, but for the piano part as well, equivalent in difficulty to some of Prokofiev’s difficult piano sonatas written around the same era. Dr. Blagoeva will begin by first introducing the sonata, and highlighting features throughout its four movements that are notoriously difficult. She will highlight in particular passages that are made trickier when viewed in conjunction with the piano part. Dr. Massicotte brings his expertise in the late piano sonatas of Prokofiev to highlight features in the piano part that resemble Prokofiev’s solo work, and might lead a collaborative pianist to interpret the music in ways that would not be effective for a successful collaboration. Then, we will discuss a method in which performers can look at duo works like the Prokofiev sonata as a whole, seeing the alignment of the two separate parts into one unified piece of chamber music, that will inform the playing of both musicians in a way that only considering each solo part can not offer. Finally, from this Drs. Blagoeva and Massicotte will provide general principles and best practices for rehearsals that flutists and pianists can utilize to avoid common pitfalls in the collaborative process (poor balance, rhythmic issues, differences in phrasing and interpretation, etc.) and create more communicative interpretations and better collaborations.
Dr. Hristina Blagoeva, a native of Bulgaria, is currently on the faculty of Southeast New Mexico College. She has established a career as a soloist, chamber musician, and performer of contemporary music. Recent New York City performances have included a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, as well as at Le Poisson Rouge celebrating Philip Glass, with the composer in attendance. She has performed with large ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and the National Sawdust. and at the Florida Wisconsin, Kentucky, Austin, Oklahoma, New York and New Jersey Flute Fairs, and the 2021 and 2016 NFA Conventions.