Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recital Recap

I played my second recital at the Orpheus Academy Saturday evening. They have pretty regular recitals for their students. One of my neighbors studies classical guitar there, and she talked to the owners about letting me participate in their "Adult Impromptu Recital" series.

The first recital was last Spring, and I played El Puerto (Albéniz) and Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Liszt). The piano in their recital hall was an older Petrof and when I got up to play I noticed that it had only two pedals... no Sostenuto. I use the Sostenuto all over the place in El Puerto, so I offered to play something else. But they had a nice Kawai (probably an RX-2) in another room, so I played there. I'm sure they were all thinking "Who is this ass... thinks he need three pedals!". Anyway, it went well, and I really liked the atmosphere and the attitude of the organizers and students.

This time I played the three Danzas Argentinas (Ginastera). We used a different room again. The piano was an old Sohmer & Co. It belonged to the owner's grandfather. The strings were pretty dead, but I snuck the lid open before the recital and it was fine. I thought the performance went really well. The Danzas are a challenge to perform. If you can maintain calm, they're fine. If you tense up at all, you lose the handle and it's a trainwreck. I'm glad to say no trains left the rails.

And while I'm recapping recitals, I might as well mention my Ottawa recital, too. I guess it wasn't really a "recital". I thought it would be fun to get my Ottawa music teachers together and play for them. My mother's friend Paulette offered her new Steinway B for the event. What a gorgeous piano. In attendance: mom, dad, Johanne, Paulette, my piano teacher (1978-1985) Edith Orton and my Music History teacher (1983-1986?) Sandra Cooke. I played most of the old pieces that I've worked back up, but also threw in an unripe performance of Granados' Quejas, ó La Maja y el Ruiseñor from Goyescas.
Me at Paulette's Steinway B (next to Paulette's Baldwin L1)

I'd like to keep a record of these performances, and the blog seems like as good a place as any, so...

December 21, 2007: Cal Janacek's Christmas Recital
  • Étude Op.10 Nr.3 (Frédéric Chopin)
  • El Puerto (Isaac Albéniz)
May 24, 2008: Orpheus Academy of Music Adult Impromptu Recital
  • El Puerto (Isaac Albéniz)
  • Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Franz Liszt)
August 8, 2008: Paulette's House
  • El Puerto (Isaac Albéniz)
  • Arabesque I (Claude Debussy)
  • Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Franz Liszt)
  • Danzas Argentinas (Alberto Ginastera)
  • Quejas, ó La Maja y el Ruiseñor (Enrique Granados)
September 27, 2008: Orpheus Academy of Music Adult Impromptu Recital
  • Danzas Argentinas (Alberto Ginastera)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Video: Danza del Viejo Boyero

This video was really just me experimenting with the camera and audio equipment. But I've been hoping to get a little less formal about posting here, so what the heck.

Here's Alberto Ginastera's Danza del Viejo Boyero. Of course, the downside to posting this is now I have to do videos of the other two Danzas Argentinas. (And by "downside" I mean either "downside" or "upside").

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Video: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca

Here's the product of my second video adventure. This time the lighting and video quality are quite a bit better. Thanks to my friend Bassett for lending me a real video camera. I still need to work on improving the audio quality, but I'm actually quite happy with the performance. And I'll take a decent performance over video/audio quality any time.

I was recording the video on the Labor Day holiday, and every time I hit Record, somebody on the street would start making a bunch of noise, or Maple would walk by and shake her collar, or Shiner would start meowing. Then around two o'clock in the afternoon, the animals settled down, the neighbor across the street stopped grinding metal plates and the neighbor next door put away the lawn mower. I sat down, hit the red button, and that was it.

The piece is Franz Liszt's Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, one of my favorites to play.