December 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
I just got to my hotel from Gil’s concert in Amsterdam at Concertgebouw. The hall was packed – difficult to take photos because they don’t permit but I tried to get a few while entering.
The Berlin Konzerthouse concert a few days ago was shorter on ticket sales than Gil’s agent Mary planned partly because of a free concert the same night. It was great to be with my brother James there though and we had a long dinner before.
May has a lot of experience with concerts in Europe and said it is easier to get people to classical concerts in Amsterdam also compared to Berlin.
Tonight’s Amsterdam concert at Concertgebouw was extremely successful. Gil’s playing was so imaginative and sensitive and near the best I have heard from him. The Australian Elder Hall concert last month was the first time he had played the complete 5 Mazurkas as a set in public and now he is starting to find how to unify the works.
I wish I could hear the concert again – alas the tragedy with concerts is that they pass, part of what makes them feel so valuable while there.
The most beautiful hall I had been to was perhaps Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and after being there I have wanted to orchestrate my mazurkas and have a ballet performance there. I will do this any many other things over time. But the Concertgebouw tonight, for a chamber setting matches that and maybe even exceeds for sheer visual beauty and acoustics. Photos do not do it justice because it is oval and lighting low. Concertgebouw is now top on my list of places to play in the future if I get time for giving concerts.
The audience normally claps at the end of a set of works but they clapped between every Mazurkas – and heavily – Gil looked at the audience (still sitting) with such a surprise. At this stage no-one knew I was in the audience so I just looked around seeing everyone’s smile. 🙂 So after he finished my works and said that I was in the audience there was an astonishing surprised murmuring sound through the hall, then a standing ovation and I took the flowers from stage which you see in another photo.
Such enthusiasm was later also – all of my CDs I gave Mary were sold and I signed my signature 15 times, actually I lost count – people gave me whatever paper they had in front of them so mostly I signed programme notes or some of the CDs – all while Mary was rushing me to the restaurant after the concert.
It is of course just the music that brings all these feelings to everyone – the hall only amplifies it as the very beautiful picture frame.
I like Amsterdam much more than Berlin as a city – vastly more actually and reminds me of Saint Petersburg because of canals, art and museums everywhere, Saint Petersburg still more majestic though (Winter Palace etc). The canals are as the veins for the city that give a sense of being more alive.
While over here, apart from meeting people I have been able to concentrate on music more than usual so I finished producing the CD that I recorded at Elder Hall in 2011 and happy with the sound and playing – this will be a commercial release some time next year and it was filmed too, they have just been waiting on the sound before producing. I have also been editing my manuscripts a lot – that has been fun while travelling alone because you are working in trains, planes, etc. as well as all the cafes and easy to focus for me, at risk of meeting fewer people though.
I’ll take a train to Brugges tomorrow and the concert there will be filmed.