So usually, it starts with setting the recital length. This time I was asked to have a 50 minute program. Sometimes, a concert organizer asks for a specific piece or two.
Then we think about the occasion and the audience. If we are expecting a lot of young people in the audience we want to make sure that some of the pieces are short and fun. If there will be a lot of seniors, we usually include Romantic pieces. And we want to have at least one piece that everyone recognizes.
You can also think about the time of the year, the season, or if we can have a theme to the program.
So for this Sunday's recital, we are expecting both kids and seniors to come and I wanted to make sure that there are pieces that they recognize and fun to listen to. I came up with Meditation from Thais by Massenet and Souvenir d'Amerique (a.k.a. Yankee Doodle variations) by Vieuxtemps. And for the "main course", I had just visited the Brahms Museum in Mürzzuschlag, Austria, where I saw a manuscript of his Violin Sonata No.1 in G major.
Now, we have a room for a 7 minute piece. Hmm... something fun and exciting maybe? Benjamin and I have played Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens and that's about 7 minutes. PERFECT! The piece is about the dance of the death; ghosts and skeletons are woken up by Death's fiddle playing on Halloween night. It might be a bit early but I already see Halloween decorations at shops so I guess that's fine! :-) It's a great fun to play, both Benjamin and I love the piece.
So, that's how I built the recital program this time. I hope that fans nearby can come and join us this Sunday at 1pm at Atria Rye Brook!