Monday, March 7, 2011

Recital for the Wagner Society of South Africa

Some news about last night's recital:

6th March 2011 - Well, it came and went but what a wonderful experience. Brad Liebl and I gave a recital for the Wagner Society of South Africa last night in a private home in Cape Town which housed a super Yamaha grand piano. Such a joy to be able to use an instrument with a lovely tone, a great action and over which one can have complete control. And then to be making music with such a top-class super baritone - a great privilege. As an accompanist one does not often have the opportunity to be free to interpret at the same time as being sensitive to the needs of the soloist and allowing him also to be free. The programme consisted of 5 Heine Liederkreis songs by Schumann, Morgen and Heimliche Aufforderung by Richard Strauss, the E minor (posthmous) Waltz by Chopin, a Figaro recitative and aria by Mozart, O Du Mein Holder Abendstern by Wagner and Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen Zagen from Ariadne Auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, a Rachmaninov Prelude in G# minor and three outstanding songs Op. 10 by Samuel Barber - After the Rain, Sleep Now and I Hear an Army. As an encore Brad sang "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeny Todd by Stephen Sondheim. The small but appreciative audience were full of praise for the performance which was followed by drinks and snacks. I also managed to sell a few of my CD's! Here is what the Chairman of the Wagner Society wrote to me today:
"First of all let me say how much I (and everybody else, without exception, I am sure) loved yesterday’s recital. It was one of those magic evenings where everything went well. Brad sang so beautifully, you are a most sensitive and attentive accompanist with a fabulous feeling of timing and nuances. And your solo pieces were played so freshly as well." Brad himself wrote the following to me, "The concert went so smoothly and I felt so very comfortable with you!" This is what I had written to him: "What an inspiration you are! I can’t remember when last I felt so able to really perform! This does not easily happen working with lesser artists than yourself. Thank you so much."
As you see, we are a mutual admiration society!!!

Someone else said it was a "memorable" evening - so all in all, although it was exceedingly warm weather and pretty uncomfortable whilst performing, I am very pleased with the success of the recital.

The owners of the house where it took place have two lovely dogs, one of which sings when the piano is played. Whilst I was practising before the recital I heard her howling in another room and wondered where they would put her during the recital. They must have found another place because we had no doggie accompaniments when the time came!

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