Friday, March 9, 2012

Friends of Music Scholarship Recital (02/26/2012)

Picchi: Ballo alla Polacha
Rameau: Allemande (Suite in E minor)

Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.3 in A Major Op.69 (3rd mov)

Paganini: Cantabile in D Major Op.17

John Woods Duke: A Piper  /  The Bird
Mozart: Bester Jungling from Der Schauspieldirektor

Beethoven: 7 variations on Mozart's Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen WoO 46

Schubert: Piano sonata in A minor D.784 (1st mov)

Prokofiev: Sonata for Flute and Piano Op.94 (1st mov)

Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen

Paul Bowles: Blue Mountain Ballads


平常在學校能夠上大鍵琴課,其很重要的原因是因為透過音樂系,有些慷慨的善心人士會捐錢部份資助我們上這些音樂系的課。基本上來說,在學校上音樂系的課要額外收錢,所以有部份對補助,不管多少,都是好事。而為了確定我們這些學生沒有白拿錢,每學期末都要寫一封「感謝信函」給這些Friends of Music的贊助者。

一年一度,音樂系會辦一場Friends of Music音樂會,請一些有申請到獎學金的學生表演一首曲子。要能表演,一定需要音樂系提名,因為學生的水準不能太差~~   通常,因為跟Elaine上大鍵琴的學生,總有幾個是正式的音樂系學生,所以怎樣也輪不到我。不過今年,那位學生有別的獎學金,沒有拿Friends of Music的錢,又加上我跟Elaine學琴那麼久,第二順位好像很自然地就落到我身上。

怕事好像年紀越大越容易有的本性。起初,因為自己手臂有傷,所以音樂系提名時,本來想推托掉。但後來想想,這次的表演機會難得,而且每學期寫那些thank you note,裡面都是一堆廢話(要知道,一學年要寫三封thank you note,很快就得想應付的方式。不然這麼多年來,真心感謝的詞一下就窮了),倒不如以行動證明來得實際點。跟Elaine討論後,決定彈彈幾首小品,說不定就還說得過去。


他們說的是正確的。這些Friends of Music的贊助者,都是愛好音樂的人士。只要有任何的表演,他們都是非常欣賞的。加上,我是被安排在第一個表演的,細緻的大鍵琴先上場,也就沒有被現代的鋼琴等樂器蓋過的危險。六分多鐘,基本上就是上去一鞠躬,彈幾個音,就立刻下台一鞠躬,全程又短又享受。緊張是一定有的,不過彈到Rameau那首Allemande,就立刻進入了狀況。下來之後,剩下的一個多小時,我加入其他聽眾的行列。



P.S.  這天其實行程超趕。早上殺到舊金山參加Elaine六十大壽的派對,然後中午過後得立刻殺回學校表演,接著晚上到同學家看奧斯卡的頒獎典禮。充實的一天。

Normally the events that I play in really aren't even worth blogging.  However, this was one of the events that really holds a special place in my heart.

To be brief, there's this Friends of Music (FOM) organization affiliated with the Music Department.  They comprise of music-loving donors who provide partial subsidies for taking music lessons.  That naturally includes me, who has taken harpsichord lessons for the majority of the past 6+ years.  One of the mandatory things we have to do then, is to write a "Thank you" note to the FOM patrons every quarter we receive their support.

Anyways, every year, there's a FOM scholarship recital, where they ask a few of the students on the FOM scholarship to perform a piece or two and invite the patrons and the public to attend.  The students need to be nominated in order to perform, as it is a fairly selective event.  As there usually is a music student majoring in the harpsichord, it never falls on me.  However, this year, the music student is on another full scholarship, so I suppose naturally, the nomination landed on the "other guy, who's been taking lessons for a very long time." That would be me. 

Initially I was unsure whether or not to play, as the tendinitis in my arms are recurring as of late.  However, after discussing with Elaine, it would seem that playing two miniature pieces would be manageable.  In addition, I felt that the act of playing at the recital speaks much more than trying coughing up the quarterly thank-you notes.  (It quickly gets old on how you can sincerely thank the patrons, and so you manage to find ways of handling it.)  If anything, that would be the ultimate show of my gratitude.  Also, come to think about it, it's really a nice little privilege.

After finalizing the two pieces I decided to play, I checked with the music department's Elise to see what other students were playing.  Not to my surprise, the other instrumentalists tackled some major serious stuff.  This got me feeling a bit uneasy.  Should I have played a 7-min chaconne, or another longer set of theme and variations instead?  But then, others assured that this was no competition, rather a music appreciation event, and miniatures are just as appreciated compared to the larger epic pieces.  Plus, I was arranged to open the concert, so there would be no issue of the harpsichord overshadowed by the modern piano and other instruments.

Going first really let me breathe of sigh of relief, and seven minutes was over in a jiffy.  For the remainder of the concert, I was fully able to enjoy the concert like the other audience members.  Aside from the Zigeunerweisen and Beethoven's cello sonata, the rest of the program was actually quite interesting, not the typical pieces you'd generally hear at concerts.  The Prokofiev flute sonata was actually later transcribed to violin, the latter which I'm familiar with.  I also enjoyed the vocal miniature pieces, by American composers John Duke and Paul Bowles.  While considered "art songs," they differ substantially to the European ones, with the unmistakable 20th century American feel to it.     
A reception followed, where one could talk to the other performing students and patrons.  Pleasant way to end the nice afternoon.

P.S.  Hectic day for me.  Elaine's birthday celebration in the morning in the city.  Had to leave just after 1pm to get back to the FOM recital.  And in the evening, Oscar night...

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