Alban's Blog

Never Sick…

I am never sick. Actually I am normally even bragging about my desire to “sick”, thinking of being able to stay in bed all day, to read books, papers, to listen to music, hoping of hot tea and the pity of the loved ones…

Well, what can I say – after the snow storm in Dallas couldn’t stop me on my way back to Europe, and the century storm “Kyrill” two days later delayed my homecoming from Jersey for only  five hours, it  was my son Janos who gave me his infection – a little flew.

Oh yes, I love to be sick, but if you have to travel and play? Nightmare! I had just two full days in Berlin to start with, travelled healthy to Wiesbaden, struggled already there through the concert, but the next day (which was an off-day spent by my pianist Steven and me in Cologne) it started developing. Sure enough, I am a man, and men don’t take sickness serious, so I chose to ignore it – and paid the price the next day, another recital with Steven Osborne near Bonn, at the famous Bahnhof Rolandseck, where already Brahms and Clara Schumann had performed, later on Martha Argerich and S.Richter among others.

I didn’t want to cancel because of the venue, also not to let Steven down. And then something happened which I don’t understand at all; I had shivering fits upon my arrival after walking two minutes in the cold from the car to the (by the way very beautiful) hall and had to stop the rehearsal after ten minutes, because I just couldn’t play. But when I walked on stage I suddenly felt ten times better and played a real good concert, never any of the shivers or cough attacks during a piece, only in between, off-stage.

Was it the adrenalin which “saved” me, or is it maybe something else? When I was 21 years old, I had very bad problems with stage fright, and the only way how I managed to get rid of that was by taking myself out of the focus of my own attention. I realized that it was not about me, but about the music, and that nobody really cared, if I played well or not. It wouldn’t change anything in a larger perspective.

So maybe during the “sick” concert it was just enough to forget about myself and focus so much on what the music demanded from me, that I could forget about my corrupted body. Fact is, that about one hour after the concert I had the worst shivering fits of my life – back to my body….

The next day I flew to Berlin, where I spend almost two days, slept last night 13 hours, and today was just father and son, no work, so beautiful. We went to Hertha (the local soccer team) in freezing temperatures, but gorgeous weather, and now I will finish since my flight is leaving in about 7 hours at 6:45 am for the next concert. Argh!


  • Angela

    Hi Alban, your blog and website are wonderful. Very interesting, this thing about the body. It’s really not as intransigent as we think, is it? An extension of consciousness? Solidified energy? We’re definitely not helpless when it comes to our health. We attract what we focus on, and I guess when you’re focused on something (e.g. music) with your whole being, there’s no possibility for being sick in that moment.
    Viele Gruesse aus den Orkney Inseln…

  • Alban

    Dear Angela,

    thanks for your nice words and I am very much looking forward to coming to the Orkney Islands, since I hear so many beautiful things about them, and the Festival, obviously! 🙂

    Yes, I think only if you are really focused on what you are trying to do, you will manage to make a difference – trying hard to do that every concert. Not focusing on the right notes and any other superficial things, but on bringing something out of these little dots on some fine lines, which make absolutely no sense without a musician pouring in some soul…


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