Rick Robinson guest hosts Classical Revolution Philly on 1/25/2012
27 Jan 2012
Everyone's Blog Posts - LocalArtsLive

Chamber music wants to be played in a chamber.  Not a huge concert hall.  With the background conversations and random percussive bursts from the latte machine the music was relaxed and at home in the cozy room in Mug Shots coffee house.  Rick Robinson, double bass, Detroit Symphony, has taken a one year leave of absence to embark on a whirlwind tour in an effort to bring classical music to new audiences in relaxed and intimate settings.  To learn more about his mission, please visit the site of his ensemble and production company, CutTime (r)  and read more in this press release.  The setting Wednesday night certainly fit the bill, though it would have been nice to have had a few more players on hand.  Reading music and playing it with no practice requires guts, excellent music reading skills, the ability to push though mistakes, and great teamwork.  


Russel Kotcher, violin, provided strong leadership while Veronica Jurkiewicz, violin, and Bill Huston, viola, backed him up with beautiful harmonies and an occasional solo.  Rick Robinson brought the music, so he was the only player to have recently played the selections.  His strong performance and coaching brought the team together as they ran through a wide range of music from Bach to Joplin.  Many selections were popular pieces so there was a good chance that all had performed them before, but it could have been years ago.  One such piece was Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings:

  Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings: Classical Revolution Philly 01/25/12 by LocalArtsLive 


As you can hear from this sample, the quartet performed remarkably well considering they had never played together before and were performing with no practice.  You can also hear Rick's remarks and background noise.  As a listener, it was interesting to witness the process of the performance.  This aspect is completely worked out of formal, professional performances so you are left with only the music and minor interactions between the players.  I also enjoyed the rawness of it all.  Without all the fine tuning and precision, every piece had a more relaxed, jazzy vibe.


I left more comments in these excerpts from two of Rick Robinson's own compositions:  "City of Trees", and "Mighty Love".  For the Classical Revolution players these were even more of a challenge since they probably had never heard the pieces before.


"City of Trees" and Serenade from "Mighty Love" - excerpts by LocalArtsLive 


More photos of the event are provided by Steven Krull: Classical Revolution photos.  For more information about the local Classical Revolution chapter, please refer to my previous blog about the organization here: Classical Revolution Philly


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