Alban's Blog

Haydn in Miami Beach…

Wireless Internet at the pool in Miami BeachIt feels like holidays! Even though I had a very intense rehearsal today with the New World Symphony here in Miami Beach, I haven’t felt like that since a couple of months – funny, what a little bit of sun can do. After arriving here last night at around 11 pm I followed the advice of the driver who picked me up from the airport and went to two of the places where “it’s happening”. He didn’t tell me what was happening, and until now I don’t quite understand what is so special about a couple of hundred people, lots of booze and loud music. But except myself they all seemed to have a great time, “hanging out” and small-talking their way through the night – well, let’s face it, I am a complete bore, don’t dare to talk to anybody, don’t drink on my own and in the middle of many happy, sociable people I manage to stay as lonely as on a desert island, except that I might have been happier on that island. I just proved to myself again that I am the opposite of a party-animal and gave up after about 30 minutes of watching drunk people. Mr. Party-Pooper went straight to Walmart, bought some fruits for the morning and took a good 6-hour sleep before getting up for the “holiday” which started with a memorable jogging at the beach. What would I give for being able to do this every morning – it re-energizes my mind more than even the strongest coffee, and gives me more happiness than a good dinner. And the beach is indeed spectacular, especially in the morning when there is nobody.

Practising afterwards still felt like holiday, and I must admit, rehearsing the feared Haydn-D-Major Concerto with this group of young, enthusiast musicians who stuck with me like a rubber glove was almost as rewarding as reading my book at the beach aftewards. What a difference it makes when an orchestra and its conductor take a little Haydn Concerto as serious as their symphony, when they treat it as chambermusic and thus making my part soooo much easier because I don’t have to wait for them or react to sloppy accompaniment but get inspired by their support and musicianship. No, I am not just saying this to be “nice”, but it is indeed helpful especially in music like that to feel as much freedom as possible from the supporting cast because there is nothing worse than playing Haydn square and straight. If I feel secure enough to do spontaneous things, dynamically, rhythmically and in specific phrasings, I’ll go for it and let my imagination take over, as if telling an untold story for the first time. We’ll see…

I don’t know much about the New World Symphony except that its members are all very young and highly talented, founded  and often conducted by Michael Tilson-Thomas (only this week lovely Osmo Vänskä from Finland is their “leader”) – I will hopefully find out more at dinner after tommorrow’s concert which I am very much looking forward to.

Now I pretend to be disciplined and get some more practising done before a tete-a-tete with Osmo in a restaurant nearby 🙂


  • Gerhard Becker

    Dec 4th, after the concert

    I love NWS and its music, its members and all about it: This evenings Haydn was just superb: the genius and the musical talent, the wunderful instrument and this playing msic together: great joy aswell as Haydns “excuse” to do all this = the music.

    Yes, this was like walking over an empty beach in the morning with eternal glimpses, completed by the joy of the many (listeners). I would love to have a recording of this event.

    Thank you! ALL!


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