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This Weeks Piece: Regrets And Resolutions by Gary Schocker

Gary Schocker American flute player is also a pianist, harpist, prolific composer and a talented teacher.
Born into a musical family in Easton, Pennsylvania, Schocker began his musical career on piano, making his recital debut at the age of three. By the time he was ten, he had added flute to his musical studies. Schocker made his professional debut as a flutist at the age of 15, appearing as soloist with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, thus establishing a name for himself even before attending The Juilliard School and winning numerous prestigious competitions, including the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, the New York Flute Club’s Young Artist Competition, the East and West International Concert Artists Competition, and Young Concert Artists Competition. In 1988, he cemented his reputation as a versatile performer by filling in, with only a few hours’ notice, for an ailing Jean-Pierre Rampal in a performance of the Mozart D Major Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, composing new cadenzas in his head on the way to the concert hall.
Known for his beautiful sound and effortless technique, Schocker’s performing engagements frequently take him to locations across the country and around the world. He has performed with orchestras and in concert halls on five continents. Frequent collaborators include Fumi Kuwajima (piano), Emily Mitchell (harp), and Jason Vieaux (guitar).
A gifted composer, Schocker has written music for almost every orchestral instrument, and his work has received multiple recognitions from the International Clarinet Association and the National Flute Association. He has received commissions to write music for competitions, including for the NFA’s High School Soloist Competition and the International Flute Competition in Biwako, Japan. Many of his compositions have become part of the standard repertoire for the flute, earning their place on required repertoire lists for competitions and courses of study. He currently has almost 300 works in print, with more than half of them including the flute as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. Schocker has also composed many works for harp and piano, as well as for solo voice and chorus, and has written several musicals, including Far From the Madding Crowd and The Awakening, both of which can be heard on Original Cast Recordings. Both shows were winners of the Global Search for New Musicals in the UK and were performed in Cardiff and at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as in New Zealand. In New York, the Awakening was winner of the ASCAP music theatre awards.
Mr. Schocker is also an exceptional teacher who is able to transform the playing of those who study with him. Through his own study of the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method, and other body awareness disciplines, he has learned how to help students free their bodies in ways that enhance, rather than hinder, their playing. Schocker frequently travels to colleges and universities, music schools, festivals, and flute fairs, both in the U.S. and abroad, to teach masterclasses. Since 2003, he has taught several times a year at weekend and weeklong flute retreats/masterclasses at Holy Cross Monastery near Poughkeepsie, New York.
Schocker has recorded eight CDs as a soloist, including Regrets and Resolutions, Airborne, Flute Forest, Mozart Flute Quartets, Bach Handel Telemann, Healing Music, For Dad, and Inside Out; several CDs in collaboration with harpist Emily Mitchell and guitarist Jason Vieaux; and several more as a member of chamber ensembles and orchestras. Additionally, his compositions have been recorded by many artists around the world.
Schocker teaches at New York University and in his private studios in his homes in New York City and in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Regrets and Resolutions has been used in The Flautist series to ask the question ,can we use more repertoire like this to teach techniques and less of the repetitive sequential robot style studies.?

The list of techniques this looks at is:

  • Somewhere over the rainbow openness and tone quality on all the C entries in the Regrets, it’s the “where”.
  • The usual holding a melodic line without changing colour unless the player musically chooses to do so for a good reason.
  • The central tonal syncopated A pattern in Resolutions is a look at melodious study no22. This study demands complete control of the air stream on every note. You need to know where your air is going and be able to flick it around. It’s a tricky little study. Resolutions gives it a great work out and I do musically try to accentuate the repetitive syncopated pattern because I think it holds the movement together and gives it drive and oomph and it is marked Forte. Again, this is a conscious personal musical choice of mine. I always take great notice of the score and the entries are Forte ,no staccatos marked in the majority of the Resolutions. Some passages have them and that is when I change colour and dynamics and style with the markings. I am a stickler for what the composer wrote, so I feel he wanted a full approach to the Resolutions.
  • Resolutions gives the double tonguing a good going over and I deliberately use a legato De Ge as I personally am not a fan of the percussive Te Ke style. Melodious Study No18 is great for this as it does single , double and triple tonging and they are all Da, De Ge and degede. Tone quality is the big thing to note here and it is what I live by. Guide is in the member’s section .
  • Bit of a tricky high C triplet technique which is good to master.
  • The slow section reflecting Regrets in Resolutions is demanding not as easy as it looks to pull off , Its quite hard to launch into that soulful C and hold the haunting colour and mood in this section after such a strong forward-looking theme.
  • In Regrets the piano part is like time and life ticking away whilst the flute part is full of what could have been’s , beautiful memories and regrets. It’s so beautiful to play. I deliberately play without vibrato and only outer harmonics in the p soft low F notes, it’s a personal musical choice. I am going to talk about vibrato later with En Bateau where it needs to shimmer like sun on the water.

I find it hard to imagine anyone playing this like a robot. Apart from loving this as a piece it was the main reason why I picked this for The Flautist.

Chanson de Matin

by Edward Elgar 1857-1934

Sonata in C major BWV 1033

by j.s. bach 1685-1750

serenade

by arthur woodall 1873-1952

ave maria

by Charles Gounod 1818-1893

Salut d’amour

by Edward Elgar 1857-1934

Romance No1 Op 94

Robert Schumann 1810-1856

Romance No 2 Op 94

By Robert Schumann 1810 – 1859

Romance No 3 Op 94

by Robert Schumann 1810 – 1856

Morceau De Concours

by Gabriel Faure 1845-1924

Andante in C Major, K315.

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791

Sonata for flute and piano

by Francis Poulenc 1899-1963

songs my mother taught me

by anton dvorak 1841-1904

earth for flute and piano

By Takatsugu Muramatsu

aria

by eugene bozza 1905-1991

four romantic pieces op 75 no.1

Anton Dvorak 1841-1904

la de drummond

By Jacques Duphly

The Serious Doll

by Edward Elgar 1857-1934

Ave Maria

by Giulio Caccini (Vladimir Vavilov) 1551-1618

Ave Maria

By Astor Piazzolla

Lensky’s aria

by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Madrigal

by Philippe Gaubert 1879-1941

Ave Maria

By Franz Schubert 1797-1826

Fantasia on Greensleeves

by Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872-1958

Sonata For Flute And Piano: Cantilena

by Francis Poulenc 1899-1963

Danny Boy

By Frederic Weatherly 1848-1929

Syrinx

by Claude Debussy 1862-1918

Evening Primrose ‘Yoimachigusa’

by Tadasuke Ono 1895-1929

Presto Giocoso

By Francis Poulenc 1899-1963

Suite Antique: Aria

By John Rutter 1945 –

Apres un Reve

By Gabriel Faure-

Love Wind

By PJ Sung by Wax

Song for Wibb

By Clifford Benson

Cantabile and Presto

By George Enescu

Suite Antique: Chanson

By John Rutter

Suite Antique: Prelude

By John Rutter

Sonata in E major BWV 1035

By J S Bach

Divertissement Grec

By Philippe Gaubert

Memories and Heartbeats

By Jon Raybould

Nessun Dorma from Turandot

By Giacomo Puccini

The Little Adventurer from Childrens Dream

By Luis Barroso

Pavane Op 50

By Gabriel Faure

Fantasie Op 79

By Gabriel Faure

Flute Sonata Andantino Con Moto

By Mel Bonis

Romance Op 23

By Amy Beach

Schindler’s List

By John Williams

Clair de Lune

By Claude Debussy

Concerto de Aranjuez Adagio Theme

By Joaquin Rodrigo

Regrets & Resolutions

By Gary Schocker