Recording Advice — Tidbit #1

Even after 30 years of recording experience, some lessons need to be repeated over and over and over….

In this case, I am thinking of the necessity to plan each recording in a different way than I plan a recital.
In a recording project, you can start with whatever you want!
Normally I always start with a movement that makes sense in terms of adjusting to the recording environment. I consider the energy and possibilities as carefully as I do when planning a recital, but in the case of a recording, it is all about creating a setting that encourages the maximum vitality and inventiveness from myself and others within the constraints of time and circumstance, particularly in the first session. This often means choosing a movement that is relatively straightforward and fairly exuberant. For example, when Guy and I recorded the Hindemith Double Concerto, we started with the short and punchy last movement. It was still hard but also simple at the same time compared to the massive first and second movements.
In the case of the Braun Solos, with only my lone personage on stage, I merely started at the beginning and went to the end. It makes sense and it also doesn’t make sense. And it retrospect it was not a passive decision, but one that emerged from the many times that I have played through the complete work for the pleasure of doing so (and for the aerobic benefits!).

I am now listening to the first edit of Solo #11 (Concerto – such an odd title for a solo work!) and it is so vital, brash, yet refined… the way I can sound when I am completely at home in my acoustic environment. I sound happy!
So this recording will be a real chronological snapshot of my own self as I took the first polite steps, walked a bit (albeit quite briskly), then broke into a joyful run. And maybe, after all, that is a natural progression given the nature of this opus… somehow discovery takes the place of absolute prior certainty.
God, I love this music.
Tidbit #2 – every recording project has a life utterly of its own. Amen.