Sight-reading on stage

October 13, 2010 musicianbelindashave

The occasion was a gathering of individuals from different walks of life but all with one thing in common: the ability to play music.  We joined together on 8th October 2010 at a ‘Soiree’ in Norwich for renditions of some items of  classical music across the eras, solo and ensemble.  As I noted with interest, the variety in standard of performance was as varied as the individuals themselves, though unanimous they were in spirit and willingness to get up and share their accomplishments. A few I was considerably impressed with.

It had not been planned that I would perform at this event; I had simply gone along to support my dear friend (who was bearing all of the self-effacing modesty that does not rightly belong to such an accomplished and talented musician but which was apparent in her pre-performance nerves nonetheless).

Present at the occasion was one of our University lecturers from many years ago.  Seeing him instantly brought back a surge of the some of the exploits of keyboard Harmony, some welcome, some…….. well, let’s face it, I never liked grappling with the possibilities of V9d or the Augmented 6th, (bearing mathmatical implications at the least!)

Whilst listening with interest to the passing items on the programme, it was announced that this lecturer would replace someone who had to leave early in performing one part of the two-pianoed ‘Variations on a Theme by Haydn’ (Brahms).  My friend and I obviously had the same thought at the same time as she nudged and whispered to me, ‘you could play that’.  A quick glance at the score made it clear to me that I not only probably could but was going to play this piece in this concert, this evening.  Unplanned.

Something like nervous anticipation grew at my chosen challenge, but nothing to the extent of deterring the decision that I was going to play something I didn’t know in front of an audience of musicians.  It could equally have gone badly as it went well, I realised.  At the same time I had certainty that when crafting a piece of music one is imbued with personal power and substance.  This is why we do it.  A need to share and express and a need to perform, (although it is traditional to practice before a concert)!  Satisfyingly, it didn’t go at all badly.  Bearing this in mind I had to ask myself: does anything beat the buzz of this potentially hazardous venture?  I would say not.

We shall not forget some of the memorable characters we came across at this special evening.  Next Soiree: 6th February.


Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ash  |  December 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm


  • 2. jonny alden  |  December 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    hey- Well done Bel !

  • 3. junnywindows  |  December 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    sounds like you “stepped up to the plate” -well done you !

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