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V.com weekend vote: Have you ever experienced a difficult chamber music break-up?

The Weekend Vote

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Published: January 3, 2014 at 11:21 PM [UTC]

Playing in a long-term chamber group, such as a quartet, can be one of the most rewarding kinds of musical experiences of a lifetime.

Yet, the whole endeavor is dependent on four people being musically compatible, being able to get along personally in a variety of situations, being in-sync with their goals as a musical group, and being able to handle the logistics of organizing themselves for rehearsals, coachings and gigs.

Let's just say that not every group that manages to get together becomes the Emerson String Quartet!
Many chamber groups simply don't get off the ground in the first place; others do wonderfully for a while but then fall apart for a variety of reasons.

But for the ones that thrive, change can be very difficult. Karen Rile's blog this week reminds us that with the joy of a group that works well together comes the difficulty when members of the group change, or when goals change. Even if it that change is friendly and agreeable, it can feel like a real loss. And it's not always friendly and agreeable; sometimes it's difficult and downright acrimonious, leaving bitter feelings that can last for years.

Have you ever experienced a difficult chamber music break-up?


From Dottie Case
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 1:20 AM
I find it interesting that at this time, approximately 70-ish people have said they've been through a difficult chamber music break up, but no one has offered any detail or comments. Probably indicates the depth of the trauma..
From Laurie Niles
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 10:59 PM
I think it can be really, really traumatic. And sometimes a chamber group is composed of people who are literally married or also in a romantic relationship -- the break up of the chamber group can also involve the break-up of very personal relationships. It's a very intense dynamic.
From David Beck
Posted on January 8, 2014 at 4:38 PM
My student quartet comprised of the later-to-become-distinguished Simon Standage, myself on second fiddle and of course 2 others.

Life was never the same again ! Happy days. It simply wasn't practical for us to continue together.

Those blissful quartet-playing days kept me sane - my undergraduate course put me in contact with so many folk talking in riddles I might have FLIPPED otherwise !!

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