Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spring Recital Review

It's been two weeks since the Spring Recital at Steinway. I'd meant to post a review right after the recital, but never got around to it. Luckily, I checked the rulebook and there are no restrictions on how long after an event you can still blog it. So....

The Spring Recital took place May 31, 2009 at 5pm in the recital hall at Steinway Piano Gallery, Austin. The program had twelve performers: eleven students of Steinway Guy and me at the very end. The students played two pieces each. I played three:
  1. Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
  2. Danza de la Pastora (Ernesto Halffter)
  3. Danza del Gaucho Matrero (Alberto Ginastera)
The students were mostly quite young, the audience mostly camera/camcorder-toting parents. As the program wound on, some of the younger students in the audience started getting quite restless. The rising temperature in the hall didn't help either. So by the time it was my turn, the room didn't seem interested in hearing three pieces by some guy. But there was nothing to do about it except get up there and play what was printed in the program.

The piano was not their usual model D Steinway. It was a glossy D. (By default, the New York Steinways have a satin finish, the Hamburg Steinways a glossy finish... so it looked like a Hamburg D). Turns out it had recently been rented out by the Steinway Gallery to Diana Krall for a private event, and she had autographed the plate. I thought the sound was gorgeous, but the action felt a little spongy.

I gave a little opening spiel then launched into the Mozart. It was nice to hear the audience's noises of recognition when they realized the theme was "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". And to my surprise, the videos and still cameras didn't stop. I'd assumed the parents would put away the cameras when their kids were done. I think this is the first time I've ever played a recital with flashes going off while playing.

To keep things moving, I shortened my verbal introductions a little, and skipped the repeat I usually play in the Halffter. But it turns out that my concerns were unfounded: everybody seemed to enjoy the performance. And the Ginastera at the end is always a big hit.

So there you have it. I'm grateful to Steinway Guy for another opportunity to perform. I feel like I'm slowly narrowing the gap between the quality of public and private performances, though it's still much wider than I'd like. I just have to keep at it!