Friday, June 09, 2006

Is the concert deady-bones?

It's not easy getting people to come to concerts, these days, even free ones. We recently had a concert at our conservatorium in Bathurst, 3 hours west of Sydney [and a thousand miles from care] which featured a talented young woman playing Mozart, Bartok, Chopin, PDQ Bach and music by the composer of the Amelie soundtrack [French geezer: you know the one].

We did our best to promote it, but on the day only 20 or so people came along. It was an entertaining concert, and I'm sure lots of people would have enjoyed it. This concert was free for staff and students, and reasonably priced for others.

In contrast, a concert featuring Schubert's Trout quintet and a delicious meal of trout and a yummy chocolate dessert which was accompanied by music from the film Chocolat and which cost 70 smackers a ticket attracted 100 people. We thought it sounded good, too, but we didn't have the 140 smackers!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Keeping your hand in

My wife and I bought a great second-hand Tokai grand piano six years ago. It is the first grand we've owned and is a Steinway copy. Definitely just a copy. But I have often gone days, even weeks without playing it.

A few weeks back I decided to play through one of my favourite Beethoven sonatas, which is the one in E Flat Major, op 7. I learnt the second movement as a student, doing Seventh Grade AMEB. Having played through one sonata, my wife, Joan suggested I play through the other 31...

So I did! A new adventure began, and after completing the 31 Beethoven Sonatas [only sight-reading them], I continued with Chopin's Waltzes [the 14 in the cheap book I took from a pile of second-hand music donated to teachers at Mitchell Conservatorium recently], Tchaikovsky's Seasons, Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition and Mozart's Sonatas.

I think I'm sight-reading a little better now, and I've learnt a lot more than I would by merely listening to CDs, or even studying the scores and listening.