While Sitting here in my dressing room at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg (gorgeous hall) and listening to the second half of the concert through the speakers, I am able to check e-mail, write a blog, follow the Yankees loosing to the Red Sox (well, the bases are loaded in the 7th inning, ARod is up next…) and pay two bills – thanks to the Wifi in this entire space here! Where would we be without it? It really makes my life so much easier; already to be able to not having to talk on the phone constantly but instead do all the necessary communication via e-mail. The older I get the less I like talking on the phone, I find it so impersonal and tiring, and on top of it my memory has become so poorly that I don’t remember anything I am saying on the phone. Since I can type almost as fast as I speak (and I am a fast speaker!) it gives me much more time at hand to do important things, like checking the sports results for example (oops, ARod just grounded out, inning over) 🙂 The concert was very enjoyable, it’s a beautiful hall here, good audience (they didn’t have to pay, so it was packed, last concert of the season), and I absolutely adored the conductor of the Orchestra Philharmonique de Luxembourg, French Emanuel Krivine. Very original and strong personality, sometimes a bit too direct for certain people (especially musicians, we are soooo senstive), but with a great sense of humour and wonderful musicianship. We did Brahms Double (the concertmaster of the orchestra, Hiaoxing Ling, did a great job in his first Brahms), again I must say, and it was one of the most exciting I have been part of.
Second half consisted of Dvorak 8, and again, great drive, beautiful music making, tomorrow I’ll listen to it in the hall. Oh, it’s no hall, it’ s church, what a pity, might have to wait until next week when we have a little run-out to Amsterdam – good old Concertgebouw with its blessed acoustics will be fun. Today I got another cancellation call for somebody for doing another Elgar in Stuttgart with Sir Roger (Norrington), just during the time I am in Amsterdam. Too bad, would have loved to work for the first time with the guy who has his orchestra play without vibrato – I heard them once in Beijing playing Elgar 1st Symphony without any vibrato, and after a bit of getting used to I actually really enjoyed it. But still I believe that back then musicians vibrated, just not as wide and compulsive as nowadays. It is a wonderful exercise though to have an orchestra get used to play without the shaking of the left hand; this way they have to focus more on what they do with their bow arm, with which the actual music is being made.
I practise very often without vibrato, entire movements, and I try not to play it cold and sterile, but with all the music I have in me, all nuances and colours, just no vibrato. Very cleansing I must say. But then on stage, with a big romantic piece like the Brahms, I am fully aware that I sometimes overdo it. Long process to learn – must have to do with the nerves and the tension on stage – and also with the fact that I do like vibrato 🙂
It is hard for me to focus these days, because the renovation work has started in our new home in Berlin, and I feel responsable and bad that I can’t be there to watch over the workers. Trust, trust, but I have had so many bad experiences with workers that I have a hard time trusting. Soon I’ll be gone to Australia and New Zealand for three weeks, I wonder how that will all work out. I’ll tell you here beginning of August. Can’t believe I am going during summertime to a country where will be winter. Arghh!!!
OK, now there is a reception, and I want to go there, because the sponsor is a Champagne company, so there will be lots of nice champagne, which I deserve after all the hard work I did tonight. Have a great night!