Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Busy busy

The Chichester Psalms concert went very well. Apparently no one heard the horrifying errors I made about 10 measures in because (1) when you are a well-practiced musician-in-motion with adrenaline coursing through your veins, you experience a time dilation that an audience remaining at rest does not, so that what you perceive as a slow motion crash and burn, your audience perceives as a sonic blip lasting a mere fraction of a second; and (2) the electronic organ speakers were aimed at my knees rather than at the audience, so folks could barely hear the organ anyway. It was a pleasure working with a top notch vocal ensemble, and since they were mostly at rest at that one spot when I was in motion, there's a possibility I'll get to work with them again.

Following the concert, my attention went directly to another musical event. This past Sunday, a colleague and I had the nerve-wracking pleasure of assisting at a virtuosic organ concert given by the inestimable David A. "Assisting" means pulling stops out, pushing stops in, turning pages, and in this particular case, depressing three keys during a slow movement that had too much else going on for David to hold the keys down himself. Three notes is not a lot of notes, especially in the context of the five hundred thousand or so that David was tearing through, but playing them did provide me with an extra chance to mess things up, in the unlikely event that I didn't mess up pulling stops. For this musical roller-coaster ride, the three of us had seven hours of rehearsals together, every minute of it necessary for us stop-pullers, and none of it involving spraying the organ with fire retardants (a job the organ tuner/curator claimed for himself). The program included tours de force by Liszt, Alain, and Dupre, as well as two of Schumann's B-A-C-H fugues (so you know I was a happy Schumannophile).

No comments: