The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168339   Message #4068571
Posted By: keberoxu
16-Aug-20 - 02:36 PM
Thread Name: my first performance in thirty years
Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
The performance took place on Thursday 13 August 2020
in the room with the decent [and long-suffering] grand piano.

As a performance by patients for patients at the clinic,
the evening had a mixed program[me].

The evening opened with someone singing an excerpt
from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet,
'your children are not your children' etc.
Another performer followed with some
improvisations at the piano, MOR-jazz style.

Duet for violin and viola, classical composer no one has ever heard of.
Both musicians were a bundle of nerves, and afterwards,
the violinist confessed that near the end of the piece,
when her anxiety peaked and she forgot to look at her sheet music,
she improvised / invented two measures of her part on the spot.

Duet for viola and cello with a gentle piano accompaniment,
from a Shostakovich prelude
which is famous and has been much [re]arranged.
Slow, mournful, minor-key, and deeply emotional.
The audience ate it up, and gave generous applause;
the two string players were very unhappy afterwards
because they thought it ought to have been played better.

Then, one of the clinic's Activities Department staff,
meaning non-clinical and non-therapeutic staff,
who is a chorus director in the real world,
sang the little Schubert song, "Die Forelle,"
with me at the piano. Very well received.

Then I stayed at the piano and was joined by
the violin, the viola, and the cello,
and we plowed our way through
the Theme and Variations movement (Movement IV)
from Schubert's Trout Quintet, based on "Die Forelle."
It wasn't perfect. I certainly wasn't perfect.
But I had played far worse during rehearsals,
and I managed to play okay, and even enjoy myself.
The violinist, as ever, critiqued themselves severely afterwards.
But we all came together and made a joyful noise,
and the applause afterwards was really very satisfying.

The grand piano lives in a large meeting room which has
windows, large windows, on three sides, situated at the end of one building.
Some of the smaller windows are casements which open and shut, and have screens.
For our evening performance, all of the casement windows were opened.
Thanks to social-distancing requirements,
only a small number of people -- performers as well as audience --
were allowed to crowd into the meeting room.
The meeting room doors were open into the foyer,
where folding chairs were occupied by other audience members.
And an uncounted number of people went outdoors
and sat/stood outside the open windows
from which to listen to the performance.

That was a few days ago, and we are still getting compliments.
The violinist, who is Asian-American, contributed to the sendoff
(had to discharge from the clinic to go back to university)
by making enough paper origami to fill a large cardboard box
and giving everybody an origami ornament.
Mine is made with gift-wrapping paper, very colorful,
which has little black-and-white keyboard images
punctuating the multi-colored design.
It lives on top of the dresser in my clinic bedroom.