September 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM
I recently had the opportunity to attend the recital of a violinist I won't name, but who is certainly a well-recognized and acclaimed international soloist. It turned out to be a very interesting recital indeed.
He entered the stage with an expression which could not be interpreted as anything but extreme rage. I don't know what happened backstage, but obviously something had very seriously ticked him off. When he started playing, a piece that is very beautiful but not necessarily a huge technical hurdle, it sounded horrible. The tone was bad, and many notes, including a simple shift to third position, were completely out of tune. Needless to say, I was very surprised.
As the music progressed, he relaxed and let the music take over. By the end of this piece, he sounded absolutely lovely, with one of the most wonderful tones I have ever heard live. A complete transformation.
The evening continued as a succession of disastrous moments alternating with parts of absolute wondefulness (If that is a word...). It was certainly interesting!
A learned a few things:
1. Even the super-stars can have an off day.
2. Don't let negative emotions take over.
3. Even if you make mistakes here and there, if you have good tone and interpretive skills, your recital will be enjoyable to the audience.
Even them can have to deal with anxiety... And even them can have unexpected technical problems with the instrument adjustment/strings etc just before going onstage.
So whatever happened, it just show they are humans too. And happy that it didn't all went wrong.
I just really hope soloist x isn't too shaken by that though. (perhaps many people in the audience couldn't do what he did... and I'm sure those who noticed it all sympathized)
Thanks for sharing this experience.
Even "they" are human. That's what makes it (live music) so exciting. The possibility that things can go horribly wrong or wonderfully right.
So true, Julian!
As for violinist X being OK after a poor recital, I would not worry too much. He has been around long enough to prove his staying power...
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