ARTIST FEATURE: We are joined this week by the “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” (Chicago Tribune), maestro Vladimir Kulenovic. We couldn’t be happier that he agreed to answer a few questions for us:
1) Why is rhythm important?
“In the beginning, there was rhythm” is a famous quote of Hans von Bülow, most famous of Liszt’s students and a pioneering conductor. Biblical analogy aside, rhythm is an essential foundational element of music due to the temporal nature of music itself. Music moves through time, and rhythm and tempo are the ‘binding elements’ that provide gravitation to other important elements like harmony and melody. To even gain access to those elements, you have to master the control of rhythm, as rhythm is a means by which everything in music is organized.
2) How often do you practice with a metronome?
I always include the metronome as a part of the process, as it is an ‘objectifier’. Curiously, it is said that Frederic Chopin, in whose music rubato is omni-present, always had a metronome at his piano. This is because an objective rate of musical transition (i.e. metronomic pulse) has to be present in a performer even when rubato or other temporal deviations are employed. Without a norm, a deviation does not make sense, and metronome will help you establish that norm even if you choose not to uphold it for a valid expressive reason.
3) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on metronomeonline.com?
MetronomeOnline.com is an evolution of the metronome: it not only provides, but explains the principles of what metronome means to you in principle, guiding what your work should be in practice. In other words, I like everything about it.
VIDEO: Check out Maestro Vladimir’s performance of Star Wars’ Main Theme with Orquestra Simfònica Camera Musicae live at Auditori de Girona: