July 2010

I never thought I’d come this far

July 5, 2010 10:29

I’m not really an adult beginner, because I started playing the violin as a child. But I was the exact opposite of a child prodigy. I could play the E-Major- concert by Bach and some Sonatas by Händel at twenty, but not very good. I focused on the guitar as my main instrument, with good success, but with the violin I never was good enough, and I dropped it almost completely for more than twenty years after frustrating failures at auditions at the Musikhochschule. I played guitar, composed, made music for a living, but I was always sure not to be talented enough for my secret love.
Two and half a year ago I met J., a new piano teacher at the music school where I teach guitar, and we started to play easy chamber music. We began with the Schubert Sonatine in a-minor and some pieces by Pauline Viardot. J. is a professional player, she has a master degree as a soloist and in chamber music. Playing with such a partner was a new experience, and she encouraged me to work real hard. I never before had anyone to give me that kind of self confidence for my violin playing. I took the chance and started to work hard (I had no teacher this time; a violinist can learn a lot from a real good pianist.

Last friday I had my first recital (with another pianist, because J. was abroad.)
We prepared a program with some shorter pieces instead of whole sonatas:

Joachim Raff: five pieces from op. 85
Ludwig van Beethoven: Allegro from Sonata Nr. 5 op. 24:
Georges Bizet: Entr’acte II - Habanera - Seguidilla - Entr’acte III from Carmen
Manuel De Falla: Suite populaire espagnole:
Jules Massenet: Meditation
Giacomo Puccini: Nessun dorma
Johannes Brahms: Scherzo (F.A.E.-Sonata)
Hungarian Dances Nr. 2 and 5

We had a full hall (in an old castle, now a gallery), the audience was listening keenly, my pianist was stimulating and supporting me, and although only ten minutes before the beginning I was sure that I was facing a desaster, from the first note on it went fine.

Among the audience were some other musicians, and they gave me a positive feedback. The most motivating comment was one another pianist made towards my partner, that I heared unintentionally. She was surprised that I didnt’t play the violin as my main instrument but started to study seriously only recently.

We had a positive and very detailled review in the local paper.
I don’t need to describe my state of mind... now I’ll continue working with the new experience that if I work real hard I will succeed.

Thank you, J.
Brahms, here I come!

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