Episode 11 - Improvisation, Part 1
In this first of three related episodes, Philip begins a conversation on Improvisation. After checking in on recent adventures with the IFCM in Barcelona, Spain and Kaili, China, Philip dives in—discussing improv training, perspectives and experiences in the classical, church and operatic realms. He touches on French organist training, Handel’s oratorios, Baroque ornamentation and Bel Canto, as well as music theory and the importance of understanding Inventions, Sonata Form, Fugue form, etc.
Philip talks about a legendary improvisation experience taking over the piano chair for Arthur Kleiner to support a five hour silent film - Abel Gance’s 1927 epic Napoleon - at the Walker Art Center. He digs into the preparation and live improvisations created for Minnesota Opera’s “Newest Opera in the World” as well as frequent and varied types of improvisations on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and his infamous weekly organ improvisations during Sunday services at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.
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The next two episodes in this series will bring Philip to the piano to showcase improvisation partnership and then to the organ. Stay tuned!