After actually sitting down to read a recent issue of American Music Teacher, I found myself fondly remembering the joy of playing solo works by Chopin and Schumann. Now that I specialize in collaborative work, I generally use solo works as exercises and sight-reading projects rather than serious studies. I know.....many of my dear teachers are rolling their eyes.
I suppose my lack of interest in solo playing is most often associated with my utter hatred of memorization. Without fail, I experience a memory slip in every performance I give and have a terribly difficult time recovering. Today was an epiphany of sorts. I am no longer a student, so I don't have to conform to any standards other than those I set for myself. If I want to play a recital from score, that is my prerogative.
So I began thinking through solo rep and am seriously considering doing a solo recital this fall featuring music of Schumann in this anniversary year. I've not settled on a program obviously, but I must admit that immediately I was drawn to the Scenes from Childhood and the Album for the Young. Of course, there are other works that have been attractive to me over the years that might round out the program more.
Since it's also an anniversary year of Chopin, I have to consider his works as well. What pianist would ever consider NOT playing this master's compositions when afforded the chance?
I'm shaking my head in disbelief that I am even contemplating a solo recital. I guess the performance bug has bitten and I want to make music as a soloist in order to tell everyone (myself included) that I'm not an accompanist, but rather a pianist.