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Topic: Interesting Performance Stories  (Read 6740 times)

Offline ajw400

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #50 on: June 27, 2005, 09:16:27 AM
3 stories:

I was playing a gig in mexico and in the last 2 pages of the Liszt E-flat concerto I must have stomped on the pedal contraption of the piano quite forcefully, for it fell off loudly onto the floor and I continued, with terrified bravado, to the concerto's doomed end.

At the Banff centre in Canada, I was playing the Ives piano trio and during the difficult 2nd movement, I noticed a small spider climbing up the side of a key around middle C. It got on top of the key and proceeded to walk about an octave upwards on the keyboard and I, scared of possible death by poisonous spider or rancorous flappy-headed audience, shuffled around the notes in the clusters i was playing to avoid squishing it and it eventually went back down the side of another key and back under the piano where it belonged.

While playing rite of spring in Stravinsky's original 2-piano version in a dress rehearsal at my university, I had band-aids on 2 fingers because of a biking accident. During one fated glissando, one of the bandaids flew off my finger and landed in my conducting teacher's lap, and he just sat there and refused to touch it so I had to go errr in and retrieve it myself.

Offline pianojems

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #51 on: June 27, 2005, 05:50:44 PM
 :)
      I was performing my piano jury one semester, during which I had fever, bronchitis and a cold. Well I finished my performance and bowed. As I proceded down the stairs (which are in the front of the stage) I passed out and rolled down the stairs.
     This was totally humiliating I dont know why it happend. All the jurors rushed to me, and when I came to, they said oh are you alright, and great performance by the way! If only you could have seen me sprawled out dead in the front of the stage. Weird.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #52 on: June 29, 2005, 12:41:17 AM
Reading through this post keeps inspiring memories I tried to blank out ehaha.

I remember in one concert I was talking about Bach's famous Tocatta and Fugue which I was going to play next then I sat down and started playing the Beethoven Concerto for some freaky reason. I stopped, started again, but the hands wanted to play Beethovenís most famous four notes da da da DAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I was utterly perplexed because I have never learnt the solo for this piece! That is a glitch I still don't understand to this day.

When I sit in audiences and listen to pianists (competitions most of the times), I really feel sorry if they stuff up. Not that I think any less of them as a pianist not at all, but the pressure on people is so tough sometimes, I really feel for them cos I know what it feels like! But the worst thing I ever saw was one girl who was playing on the "winners night" concert, people who had won their section for the eisteddfod.
She started playing Greig's Butterfly and totally blanked out mid way. She tried to pick it up again, started again and stuffed up again on the same place. She took her hands off the piano and just sat there for about 10 seconds. Then her dad shouted out from the audience, "keep going darling", (He was actually sitting a few seats to my left) she put her hands back on, and stuffed up again!! Then pushed herself away from the piano and walk/ran off, stage left, crying and sobbing.

She retured to get her trophies through, 4 of them! And everyone gave her a big applause, phew. At least she felt a little better, but she took the prizes with teary red eyes. I felt for her so much. :-[ I geuss it happens to the best even! I would love to listen to recordings of.... Horowitz for isntance doing a big stuff up in concert. That would be very amusing, but I think it would make people realise that everyone stuffs up some time or another no matter how good you are.

Another slightly amusing story I remember was with a Korean Concert pianist who I was competing against in an open piano competition in the Univeristy of West Australia. She asked me for my ideas on what was playing which was  3 movements of the Beethoven Appassionata. I mentioned to her that it would be good if she did the repeat at the end of the last movement in the presto section. She said she had never done it and it was too late to make changes like that, but during the actual competition it must have somehow infiltrated her and she did the repeat! I noticed her sister who was sitting next to me, shifted very uncomfortably, but it all went without a problem. To my annoyance because she beat me ;) Probably because she was a doctorate student at that univeristy, and it was a univeristy examiner.... and only one.... and my excuses go on ahah.
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Offline Goldberg

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #53 on: June 29, 2005, 01:42:24 AM
Heh, that 2nd story--and all the other "blank out" stories--remind me of the famous anecdote telling of how Liszt once saw a woman perform (she might have been his own student, at least at some point, but maybe not) and, eventually she hit a part where she obviously hadn't practiced well enough because, even after restarting it three or four times, all on Liszt's command from the audience (he was stomping his feet and yelling at her to start again, until she played through it), she still didn't manage to play it (of course, the pressure of Liszt yelling and stomping his feet at her probably didn't help matters!) and she flew from the stage in a flurry of tears. Liszt, I believe, told her to never play in his presence again...or something...

Offline Nightscape

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #54 on: June 29, 2005, 04:21:11 AM
I suppose this is something that happens often when people play this, but twice when I've publicly performed Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse, whenever you hit the last note (the lowest A on the piano), you have to get there so fast, that what's happened, is that instead of hitting the note (very forcefully), I've hit the piece of wood adjacent to the note.  You can imagine what slamming your finger into a block of wood feels like. 

Offline rebel1ns

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #55 on: June 29, 2005, 06:07:09 AM
not interesting at all, but in some open age competition of chopin etudes i was playing op10no4 (i was the only one playing it, everyone else played ocean, black key, and revolutionary) and i messed up in the middle of it..i stumbled for like 0.5 seconds, and i mouthed out, "oh @@@@" even tho i didnt say it out, and there was this 10 year old who was in the competition who played later, and messed up and did what i did..not that its funny but interesting how u can influence smaller kids ...its a shame everyone else played easier stuff though

Offline rudimental

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #56 on: June 29, 2005, 09:56:10 AM
I played for the music school here in Skopje, Macedonia. As I played Bach's prelude in c-minor, my nail broke and it hurted so much and there was blood on my finger. The audience was watching all with their eyes wide open, and after I finished, the aplause was huge - more for the nail than the playing  ;D ;D ;D
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Offline holysentiment

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #57 on: June 30, 2005, 08:56:28 AM
Pianist Cecile Licad is having a concert here in Manila, Philippines, playing RACH3.  In the middle of 2nd movement, a "brown-out" (electric shut down) occured and the whole theater was in complete darkness.  The orchestra stopped but Licad continued playing her part, skipping the orchestral solos.  (I can assure you she never missed a single note!)  The lights were restored by the time it's 3rd movement.

I'm also living in Philippines, currently studying in UP... are u also a student in UP?

Offline quantum

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #58 on: July 03, 2005, 03:43:22 AM
Here's another one I dug up. 

My high school band was playing at the local mall.  For two weeks local schools and community music groups performed.  My school performed there every year.  The director asked a couple of us who play piano, if we would like to do some solos inbetween some of the band pieces.  In previous years we also did piano solos, because we knew the mall had a piano.  Well, we get to the mall and setup the band equipment.  But there is one thing I notice missing - the piano!  The director tells me to ask the person in charge.  I go up to her and ask where is the piano, she says "we don't have one but you can play this..." - she points at the xylophone!!!!!   :o  :o  :o  :o

My band director had a chuckle after I told him.
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Offline pianonut

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #59 on: July 03, 2005, 04:05:59 AM
after joking a lot with a particular conductor, i was playing in a december concert and told at the last minute that i had to bring my chair out (playing a duet).  i was dressed in a long dress and tried to mentally prepare how i would look nonchalant and carry the stupid chair on top of my head.  then, at the moment of call, the stage guy comes and of course puts it out.  funny - how people can make you worry at the last minute (and get you back for joking too much).
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline Mayla

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Re: Interesting Performance Stories
Reply #60 on: July 09, 2005, 06:08:11 AM
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
 

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