Wissam Boustany held his Summer course for flute players here at Le Domaine des Hallais this year for the third time. He came with Aleksander Szram, a highly talented pianist, who accompanied both Wissam and the students. The course is entitled "In Search Of Inspiration" and it attracts players from all over the world. I love hosting this course, since I meet great flute players and get to hear fabulous music. What's not to like?
Wissam believes firmly, and teaches, that music is best played from memory, since this permits the full emotional expression inherent in the music to manifest itself. At the end of the course, Aleks, Wissam and the students play a concert, and the aim (although not the requirement) is that students be able to play their chosen pieces by heart.
Everyone did, in the event, play from memory. And the thing that I will remember is that although I spotted, in places, some missed cues, some wrong notes, and some memory failures, it didn't matter at all, because the overall result was so musical. It was a fabulous concert.
And I'm inspired as a result to try it for myself. At the end of each term, the music school where I am enrolled holds a little concert. So I am psyching myself up, and learning a new piece (one I played with Aleks while he was here) from memory.
Let me close with a plug. Wissam and Aleks have released a double CD of flute and piano music. You can get it on iTunes or as a physical CD It's called "This Invisible World", it's great, get a copy. Aleks has also released several solo piano works, including a CD of 20th Century piano music, that, if you think you don't like 20th century piano music, might just change your mind. Buy this too.