Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Masterclass: Getting undressed in front of an audience

Joseph So reviews the recent recital of Matthias Goerne at Koerner Hall in Toronto and has this to say about the masterclass that Goerne led the next day: 
The morning after the recital, Goerne gave a two-hour masterclass at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. There was a good crowd of lieder fans gathered in the Torel Room in the Edward Johnson Building. Three singers participated in the masterclass - soprano Lesley Ann Bradley, tenor Colin Ainsworth and baritone Peter McGillivray. These three singers are scheduled to give a German Art Song Recital on Wednesday, August 4 in Walter Hall at 8 pm. so their participation was sort of a tune-up for the concert next week. Each student prepared three songs, but given the shortness of time (40 minutes per session), they worked on basically one to two pieces. Each student was allowed to sing the first piece all the way through, then the intensive work started. It must be disconcerting to be stopped three notes into the first line. Goerne made corrections and suggestions, and the student started again, and often made to stop again. It could not have been easy for a student to be deconstructed in this fashion, and one would benefit from possessing a very thick skin. There is no doubt that Mr. Goerne is a demanding teacher - not shy to speak his mind, sometimes in a rather blunt fashion. His class reminded me of a Elisabeth Schwarzkopf class I audited during my student days. Goerne wisely stuck to interpretation and stayed away from technical issues - it is always dangerous to fool around with a student's technique, as the master won't be there to offer support in the future. Also, it must have been very uncomfortable to be figuratively undressed in front of an audience, but such is the nature of the masterclass beast! In the final analysis, the advices given make for a better final product.

I think it is always wise to be prepared for anything!  So for you students getting ready to head back to school and preparing for master classes and lessons, get your homework done now!

No comments:

From the voice of....