Chamber music is music for small formations, from as few as two musicians to as many as nine or ten. Chamber music rehearsals are very different from orchestra rehearsals.
In an orchestra rehearsal, it’s the conductor’s job to make the overall musical decisions, and what the conductor says, goes. But chamber music rarely requires a conductor, and the ideal chamber music group is a pure democracy. Everybody is entitled to voice an opinion on any aspect of interpretation, and nobody’s opinion carries more weight than anybody else’s. The process is not always smooth, and some professional groups have actually been famous for their personality conflicts—and for staying in separate hotels. But with a group that’s musically and temperamentally well matched, easy and delightful rehearsals—not to mention satisfying performances—are the norm, not the exception. The intimate communication and collaboration in chamber music can be wonderfully rewarding, and for many musicians there’s no greater joy than to play great chamber music with good friends and respected colleagues.
A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio Made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.