I don’t know if anybody might find it interesting what I have to say after a perfomance, especially since I stated in an earlier blog that I am my own worst judge, that I never know how I played. But at least I know what I felt, and I asked you now to say if I should continue writing directly after concerts or not.It is always a thrill to play at the Concertgebouw, one of the best and most prestigious halls in the world. My heartbeat always goes already up when I am picked up from my room; this is not ordinary, since soloist and conductor are taking an especially reserved elevator from the basement to the first floor where one waits for another couple of minutes for the final call. Entering the hall is scary: While the orchestra is sitting nicely tuned in their seats, all eyes of the audience are on the two protagonists trying to make their way down on this big staircase, about 20 steps, and entrance absolutely Oscar-worthy 🙂
The hall is gorgeous, but if one isn’t already nervous before the concert, by the time one arrives on the podium, you feel the nerves. And the Prokofiev is a dangerous piece. Well, many fast notes, many tricky jumps and one and a half showy cadenzas, but the worst for me is really the long stretch of concentrating. It lasts about 40 min, and the cello hardly ever has a break, and there is nothing easy in that piece. Even the slow passages are difficult, either intonation, sound or musically (mainly all three…).
How did it feel? Actually, I felt very free, and once the orchestras started it’s opening bars, my trembling nerves were all gone and I enjoyed the moment of playing at this wonderful venue. I love this piece, and as hard as it is, it’s great fun to play, since it was written for and co-written by one of the great cellists of all times, Mstislav Rostropovich, and he knew what he was doing.
Maybe we got stuck a bit in the slow passages, which I like to feel with lots of direction, but one tends to get carried away by the pure beauty of the melodies, and I think I rushed a bit too much through the cadenza. Will change that tomorrow, for sure. It’s always nice to play a concerto couple of times since it allows us to experiment and play around with the music, come up with new ideas and surprise conductor as well as orchestra and ourselves.
No, didn’t play an encore, I was just too tired and hungry, wanted to get to the second half in order to be taken out 🙂
At dinner there was a nice surprise: four musician friends showed up (all excellent players), Benjamin Schmid, Quirine Viersen, Hanna Weinmeister and Silke Avenhaus, who had played in the small hall of the Concertgebouw at the same time like us, to say Hi, since we all had met and partly played together before. The music world is very small…