Alban's Blog

…and after the performance

Jean-Max Clément and Alban Gerhardt
After doing the Haydn D now for the fifth time this year, I slowly get the hang of it. Now I understand why some musicians tend to play the same pieces over and over – it does get easier after a while.My first Haydn D was in 1987, with a pick-up orchestra in Berlin, in the Philharmonie, the hall, where I heard so many great concerts in my life. Back then I was just happy to get through the piece without collapsing, I was so nervous and scared that until today I don’t know how I managed. Twenty years later I know what I am doing, but still it is a dangerous piece.

The performance today felt very much alive and fresh, I dared to try some completely new ideas (little things, nothing fancy, just last second inspirations) which is only possible if I feel well taken care of. And with Walter Weller this is always the case. A friend of mine from the orchestra, who had taken me to a party the night before, actually told me that she thought he looked like God – yes, a god with a lot of charme 🙂
No, it wasn’t the perfect performance, missed some stuff in the last candenza, and the first set of octaves in the last movement could have been cleaner… But at least it was with full risk and sound, and I think we made some music (hopefully).

Haydn D in Monte Carlo with Walter Weller

The concert was dedicated to the former principal cellist, Jean-Max Clément, who turned 100 a couple of weeks ago. I met him afterwards at a reception, played for him a bit of Rostropovich-Etude, and enjoyed the energy and the stories of this guy. The orchestra took some photos of this matinee and posted them at MySpace, nice memory for me to have. Now I am already back in Germany, Frankfurt to be precise, have to play a gig tomorrow for some rich people…


  • George

    Obviously they are “Rich People” with good taste!! It’s hard to imagine Alban Gerhardt “playing for his supper”..LOL!!

  • Alban

    Oh, actually I don’t mind playing for supper – as long as it’s yummie! This what it’s all about – FOOD 🙂

  • kyungji

    Hi Alban, this comment came up during guest artist lecture at my school. She was wondering about popularity of classical music in our generation and someone had made a comment about how classical music records’ sales has gone up. I thought this was because people in my generation just download popular musics that’s easy to find online, while classical music have a rarity in records, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for online. My guess is it’s rare because of different artists have different interpretations to the music, but what are other factors that makes recordings rare? Thanks!

  • Alban

    Hi Kyungji,

    I think, the classical listener still likes to have the product of a cd in his or her hands, and while my company Hyperion doesn’t do anything special with the booklet (yes, rather horrible covers, I am aware of that), many cd’s sell well because the cover and the booklet are very well designed.

    Whenever I buy a cd, I go to Amazon to get it, but I would never think of trying to download it and burn a copy. Somehow it has something impersonal, to have a burnt copy – that’s me, but I think there are many other who think like that; obviously, otherwise the numbers would be down, which they are not. Why do people still buy records of pieces they own already?

    Must have something to do with interpretations, I guess, even though I am not sooo sure how different most interpretations are. Different yes, but different enough for the average listener to hear? I am not sure… But that’s why there is PR, allowing the artists to create an image and a personality, which is actually not there 🙂


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