Chamber Music Adultery -- Weekly Inspiration from Clark

Oh no!  Last Friday's first run through of In Transit: #wink got in the way of the Weekly Inspiration Blog Post getting posted on time!  In the following post, Clark reflects on one of his most recent performance experiences.  Check back each week for more Weekly Inspiration from Fifth House Ensemble members!

True confession: two Sundays ago, I committed chamber music “adultery.” I performed with another chamber group. And, yes, I totally enjoyed it and, no, I don’t feel a shred of guilt about it.But that concert also allowed me to step back and realize how huge a role Fifth House Ensemble now plays in my musical life and how much I love playing with this group.All silliness aside, I did have a truly great time playing with Music Institute of Chicago colleagues on our school’s faculty and guest artist series at MIC’s acoustically awesome Nichols Hall. We played Brahms’s c minor Piano Quartet and Schubert’s Trout Quintet, both of which I performed for my first times ever with Fifth House. So it was a pretty cool experience for me to approach both pieces anew and see whose ideas we incorporated, how other people played key passages, and how my approach to my viola parts had evolved compared to past performances.

What struck me most, however, coming out of that rehearsal and performance process had nothing directly to do with this MIC group (Cantare Chamber Players in case you’re curious) but rather my overwhelming appreciation of how Fifth House now currently operates.

We’ve been playing with each other long enough now that our musical style has become pretty well established, and this group understanding then extends into our rehearsals. We now know how to tackle a piece most efficiently, we know who is going to be picky about different technical issues, we can predict who is going to champion a particular way of playing a passage, and sometimes, who is going to disagree with them, and more and more frequently we can sense what jokes are about to be said even before they’re voiced. Even something as mundane as everyone having to use Google Calendar becomes cherished when you realize you no longer have to stay 20 minutes after rehearsal trying to set the next rehearsal as everyone flips through their datebooks.

So if I do stray again and play with other musicians, I hope my fellow Fifth Housers know it’s just not the same without them!


In light of Clark's chamber music adultery, the picture I've included is of Clark, Melissa, and Eric rehearsing Erwin Schulhoff's Concertino for Flute, Viola, and Double Bass for our upcoming performances of In Transit: #wink to prove that he is still faithful to 5HE :).  Check out the schedule page to find out when you can hear Clark (and the rest of 5HE!) play next.