Should a soloist play with score on stage?

It is an old discussion but in times where everywhere concerts are videotaped more active than ever:
Who in classical music has “permission” to go with score on stage?

First some words about the brain levels on stage:
1.Rallyedriver-modus: Your brain tells you exactly the next information, like the copilot in a rallyecar
2.Photographicbrain-modus: You visualize the exact score and play like if it was there and you are reading it
3.Jazz-modus: You know what sound is next and you find it like a great improviser,following you audiomemory
4.Dancing-modus: Your fingers learned a structured choreography and you just repeat it
5.Analytic-modus: You exactly know the structure, including the harmonic patterns
6.Alphawaves-modus: The music is just there, you just listen while your fingers move

The ideal is of course number 6, but many players are able to do great things in all of the other modes, so let us look at them closer:
Alphawaves-modus gets destroyed with score..
Difficult with score is the dancer-modus where you don’t need the visual control with score, but if the score is prepared right it can give you a lot of help to find the next “group of steps”, it is especially for guitar an important topic that the tabulature can be more important than the knowledge about the actual note you are playing – depending also on which styles of fingering you chose!
Number 1 ,2 and 5 are supported by the score!!
Number 3 just good if it helps you to remember the next sound!
And it is normal that for different types of repertory or your personal “daily shape” you choose or even sometimes switch between the levels hopefully without anybody in the audience noticing it..

It is one of the biggest part of stagefright that musicians fear to get lost, they can be blocked by this fear and the problem is immediately solved if they are allowed to have the score with them.
I experienced that when I have the score with me that I feel more freedom in interpretation when I am not on Alpha, but in all other modus, you can always discover something new in the score, the control part of your brain is free for phantasy

and it is like in school: the things you believe you want to write on the little paper you would love to have in your pocket exactly shows your weaknesses, so it is a great step in learning a piece to prepare your score- maybe to shorten it just to the parts you need or to choose senseful pageturning moments, mark important parts with coloured pencils etc , it shows you also where to add some extra work!

When I learn a new piece after writing the fingering it is the first task to learn a piece by heart, then I start to practice it ( My mantra: “Practicing means repeating the right thing”).. and then after endless hours I like to have the score somewhere with me on stage, it is like airbag, that one moment where you might need is worth having it with you- and there is a magic about it: When the score is there, I do not need it!!!!!!!!!!!!

classical guitar composers by date

I always wanted to have calendar like that and could not find it nowhere…so here it is!
Source is mostly Wikipedia plus some guitar dictionaries,please help me if there are errors or if I forgot a great guitar composer.. list will be updated!!

* 1.1.1796 Felix Horetzky
* 4.1.1882 Angel Barrios
* 5.1.1917 Reginald Smith-Brindle
† 12.1.1626 John Dowland
† 15.1.1949 Joaquin Turin
† 16.1.1853 Matteo Carcassi
† 18.1.1923 Alfredo Cottin
† 19.1.1830 Wenzelaus Matiegka
* 26.1.1907 Maria Luis Anido
* 26.1.1949 Jorge Cardoso

† 3.2.1882 José Broca
* 10.2.1770 Fernando Carulli
* 14.2.1778 Fernando Sor (?)
† 17.2.1841 Fernando Carulli
† 17.2.1883 Napoleon Cost
* 18.2.1882 Angel Barrios
† 19.2.1813 Leonhard von Call
* 20.2 1947 Carlo Domeniconi
† 20.2.1626 John Dowland ( funeral date)
† 20.2.1996 Tori Takemitsu
† 21.2.1848 Simon Molitor
† 22.2.1938 Miguel Llobet
* 28.2.1956 Nikita Koshkin

* 1.3.1939 Leo Brouwer
* 2.3.1913 Celedonio Romero
* 3.3.1891 Federico Moreno-Torroba
* 5.3.1887 Heitor Villa-Lobos
† 5.3.1953 Daniel Fortea
† 7.3.1916 José Ferrer
† 8.3.1983 William Walton
† 12.3.1950 Heinrich Albert
† 16.3.1968 Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
* 17.3.1924 Stephen Dodgson
* 18.3.1835 José Ferrer
† 19.3.1767 Leonhard von Call
† 24.3.1916 Enrique Granados
* 29.3.1902 William Walton
* 29.3.1936 Richard Rodney Bennett
* 31.3.1776 Joseph Küffner

† 1.4.1580 Alonso Mudarra
* 3.4.1895 Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
* 4.4.1640 Gaspar Sanz
* 7.4.1886 Emilio Pujol
† 7.4.1858 Anton Diabelli
* 8.4.1784 Dioniso Aguado
† 24.4.1948 Manuel Maria Ponce
† 27.4.1860 Leonhard Schulz
* 28.4.1882 Daniel Fortea

† 3.5.1996 Dimitri Fampas
* 5.5.1885 Agustin Barrios
† 6.5.1872 Giulio Regondi
† 8.5.1829 Mauro Giuliani
† 8.5.1996 Celedonio Romero
* 9.5.1931 Jorge Morel
* 12.5.1805 Jan Nepomucem de Bobrowicz
† 18.5.1909 Isaac Albeniz
* 23.5.1912 Jean Francaix
* 29.5.1860 Isaac Albeniz

† 3.6.1849 Francois de Fossa
* 4.6.1774 Francisco Molino
† 4.6.1996 Maria Luisa Anido
* 11.6.1897 Alexandre Tansman
* 11.6.1880 Ferdinand Rebay
† 16.6.1840 Joseph Kreutzer
* 27.6.1806 Napoleon Coste
† 28.6.1979 Paul Dessau

* 1.7.1926 Hans Werner Henze
† 2.7.1844 Karl Ludwig Blum
* 6.7.1773 Wenzeslaus Matiegka
† 6.7.1999 Joaquin Rodrigo
† 10.7.1839 Fernando Sor
* 16.7.1870 Heinrich Albert
* 27.7.1781 Mauro Giuliani
* 27.7.1867 Enrique Granados

† 5.8.1877 Luigi Legnani
* 8.8.1945 Stepan Rak
* 16.8.1795 Heinrich Marschner
* 17.8.1806 Johann Kaspar Mertz
† 17.8.1944 Agustin Barrios
* 31.8.1775 Francois de Fossa

* 6.9.1781 Anton Diabelli
† 9.9.1856 Joseph Küffner
† 9.9.2003 Reginald Smith Brindle
† 12.9.1982 Federico Moreno Torroba
* 21.9.1805 José Broca
† 25.9.1997 Jean Francaix

* 2.10.1919 John Duarte
† 6.10.1870 Felix Horetzky
* 8.10.1930 Tori Takemitsu
† 11.10.1936 Antonio José
* 12.10.1686 Sylvius Leopold Weiss
† 14.10.1856 Johann Kaspar Mertz
† 15.10.1750 Sylvius Leopold Weiss
* 16.10.1878 Miguel Llobet
* 19.10.1955 Roland Dyens
* 25.10.1832 Julian Arcas
* 27.10.1782 Niccolo Paganini
† 27.10.2012 Hans Werner Henze

* 2.11.1901 Joaquin Rodrigo
† 2.11.1981 Jan Nepomucem de Bobrowicz
* 3.11.1766 Simon Molitor
† 6.11.1953 Ferdinand Rebay
* 7.11.1790 Luigi Legnani
* 11.11.1790 Joseph Kreutzer
† 14.11.1946 Manuel de Falla
† 15.11.1980 Emilio Pujol
† 15.11.1986 Alexandre Tansman
† 17.11.1959 Heitor Villa-Lobos
* 21.11.1852 Francisco Tarrega
* 22.11.1913 Benjamin Britten
* 23.11.1876 Manuel de Falla
† 27.11.1964 Angel Barrios

† 4.12.1976 Benjamin Britten
* 7.12.1957 Maximo Diego Pujol
* 8.12.1886 Manuel Maria Ponce
* 9.12.1882 Joaquin Turina
* 12.12.1902 Antonio José
† 14.12.1861 Heinrich Marschner
† 15.12.1909 Francisco Tarrega
* 18.12.1894 Paul Dessau
† 20.12.1849 Dionisio Aguado
* 22.12.1921 Dimitri Fampas
† 23.12.2004 John Duarte
† 24.12.2012 Richard Rodney Bennett

The typical day of a concert- or “Why do I do this???”

There is something like a hidden routine, so now I will describe a normal concert day with no far travelling:

9.30 alarm, put that early because I want to practise!

9.31 alarm moved to 10.30, practising is overrated, I need sleep

10.30 oh my god, do I really have to get up? Why do I do this? I don’t remember a single note.. I will just fulfill today’s contract and look then for substitutes for all other contracts for the future and do something sensefull with my life..

11.00 finally leaving bed, still not remembering a single note of the program

11.30 after shower etc breakfast with tea and internet- and panic in my head “Why do I do this???”

12.00 one run through the program, slowly, loud, with no musical expression, oh, my fingers know it!!!

14.00 pasta – or something similar with no knife needed

14.30 sleep- or trying to sleep

16.00 getting up, make-up, trying to choose a nice dress in which I can breath, driving, still not remembering a single note

18.00 checking the light, drinking coffee, eating apples, talking nonstop .. always with the question in my head “Why do I this??”

19.00 audience arriving, so going backstage, tuning the guitar 10 000 times

19.15 playing some scales etc, doing dancing exercises- and still not remembering a single note

19.29 OMG, now it is time, new emotion : I want to go on that stage and play!

19.30 greeting the people, still not remembering a single note – except the first chord!!!

19.31 playing that first chord… oh, my finger know how to continue- and now I am just listening to the music and time stops

after the concert: WHEN CAN I GO ON STAGE THE NEXT TIME???? I want it, I have the greatest profession in the world, I love it, life is wonderful- and this is why I do it!

Some more details about my impossible artist vita

I had my first guitar lesson with 18, one year later I started to study in Frankfurt. My first professional jobs started 2 years later in the opera house Frankfurt, playing all kind of plucked instruments in many operas ( Don Pasquale, Barbiere di Sevilla, Don Giovanni, Mahagonny, The Nose, Oberon, Falstaff etc). So I I played hundreds of evenings for 1500 people with first class conductors and singers before…. I started with chamber music! Playing with flute, violin, oboe, singers, trio with viola and flute, string quartet, cembalo etc.

Then I made my artist diploma with never ever having played a full recital. Then I started to go to competitions. Never won, but learned a lot and met great guitar people.

1996 I replaced Pepe Romero in a Los Romeros concert ( I call this my diploma with him I could not get officially)

In 1997 I recorded my first CD- yes, and I finally played my first full evening solo recital!!!!! So this year now it is 15 years that I am a soloist ..

1998 I played my last competition

This video must be from that year, my first time playing live on TV, no cuts, just one try.

And everything sounded like it would be impossible to turn into a full artist- but the magic thought was: Why not????

I “wasted” time with working at the singing classes, learning acting, languages, dancing- today I know and I love stage, it turned now into a quite special “package” that I did so many things beside practising..

Heike Matthiesen plays Johann Kaspar Mertz, Fantasy on themes of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Heike Matthiesen: Es war mir gar nie bewusst, dass das was Besonderes war. |

Heike Matthiesen: Es war mir gar nie bewusst, dass das was Besonderes war. |

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