May 2011

The next step

May 12, 2011 11:50

Last monday I had my second recital. Only after the concert I realised that I had just reached my one great goal - performing one of the great sonatas.

As a late starter three years ago, at 47, there is no chance I will ever perform the Brahms concert or something similar, I don't have the skills, and it's much too late to aquire them. But I never dreamed about being a soloist in front of an orchestra, I always wanted to play Brahms and Beethoven in a chamber setting. Now my program included Beethoven's sonata Nr. 4 op. 23 in a minor, Händel sonata in D-major, the scherzo by Brahms and some other stuff, including some irish traditional tunes without piano.

I couldn't sleep the last two weeks, and until hours before the recital I was terribly frightened and just about to cancel everything. My rehearsals had been really bad, and I blew so many passages...I tried to find out if I was going to do something too big for me.

Then I tried to rely on the positive experience I had made - yes, I can play that piece, I know because I did... This is not so easy with only one recital and some easier gigs behind.

I had been invited to my old boarding school. The teachers welcomed me very friendly when I arrived in the afternoon. The audience did the same when they dropped in by and by. I had left the school 27 years ago. I was absolutely surprised that many of my old teachers had come to my recital!! I felt like coming home.

When the music began I was just as calm as when playing guitar in a band (which I did routinely for more than 30 years). My technique worked, no trembling bow, no oops-I missed that note, no blackouts. Instead: A wonderful sounding hall, a supportive and responding partner at the piano, the wonderful music and a great audience. I could hear some "ahh!"s and "oohs!" after some passages in the Beethoven sonata...it seems we made Ludwig van talk.

I think I was somehow lucky. With as little routine as I have in performing classical music every single failure could discourage me seriosly. Well, I succeeded, and this means I'll go on and set the next target. I guess this was the last time my self-doubts could affect me so much.

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