I went to a friend’s piano recital today, and one of the adjudicators was quite…
Hmm, how can I say this….
Passionate? Artistic? Enthusiastic?
Here’s just a taste of the good things he said.
“Pressure? Oh, I haven’t put pressure on the keys since about, oh, 1980-something.”
“My first piano teacher way back in 1967 told me that playing staccato was like touching a hot potato, and I’ve never forgiven him for that.”
“And if you do it like this (hand gesture), then it will sound majestic and not like you’re thinking about what’s in the fridge!”
“Every note has a life, you know!”
“Even when I say it, it’s exciting! We don’t even need the notes! I can just talk it and people are enthralled! That’s the essence of Beethoven!”
“When Beethoven writes piano, he means piano.”
“You have twenty changes in the first two pages! It’s like living with a roommate and fighting… and then making up… and then fighting… All compressed into seven minutes! It’s exhausting!”
(regarding Mozart) “We know from a letter he wrote to his cousin that he was a very colourful man… Not to be heard within ten miles of a church!”
“Those rests are just part of the drama! It’s not just because he didn’t know what to write in that spot.”
“When you play that part, at least two or three people should jump out of their seats!”
And, my favourite…
“You can’t just rely on your fingers. Fingers are notoriously unreliable.”
Thank you, sir, for enhancing my life tonight.
I think if I would’ve been up on that stage, I would never have been able to keep a straight face. ;)