Two old concerts of mine May 8, 2008Posted by dorigo in Art, humor, music, personal.
I stumbled today into two old booklets advertising a concert. One in Conegliano, on Friday, March 13th 1981; the other in Udine on Wednesday, May 28th, 1980. These were times when I toured north-eastern Italy with the orchestra of the Venice Conservatory, directed by m. Fabio Pirona. I was a teenager, but I could already play the recorder (straight flute) rather well.
I remember that already back then I did not really think that a career in music would suit my taste nor my talents -my interest was not focused on Physics yet but I had a pretty good idea I liked science already- but I nevertheless enjoyed playing the part of the musician. Probably this has been some sort of constant in my life: I have been an amateur musician, an amateur astronomer, an amateur chessplayer, an amateur reporter and photographer, but then I decided to become a professional physicist. In other words I seem to have applied to arts, sports, and intellectual activities what is commonplace to do with sentimental relationships: women and men flirt with the most attractive counterparts, but end up marrying the one which promises more stability.
So what were we playing back then, in Conegliano and Udine (but also in Venice, Mirano, and other places I can’t even recall) ? The offer was a trio of concerts by Johann Sebastian Bach: the Brandemburg Concerts number V, IV, and III. I was the second flutist in the fourth concert, as you can see in the scans I paste below.
Above, the front page of the booklet of Concert season in Conegliano, 1981
…and the page with the three concerts, and a few signatures from my colleagues.
The one above is instead the leaflet advertising the concert in Udine…
…and the back, with the program of the afternoon.
I have warm memories of those concerts. In the one in Conegliano, we performed excellently the fourth concert (I remember I was really pleased of the outcome and by my own performance) until -at the very end of the third movement- my instrument had become soaked with condensed breath, and it literally dripped. The condensed moisture flowed down the hole at the end and, what’s worse, down the hole on the back, which is closed by the left thumb to play bass tones and only closed halfways -by using the fingernail- to play high pitches. And one of those high pitches was needed towards the end of the Presto, when in the culmination of a forte I had to play a high mi. The thumb was unable to close the hole the way it should have, and my instrument let out a broken note which was probably heard even by the ticket seller outside the hall. That evening was spent on a pleasant restaurant on the hills of Conegliano, with the whole orchestra having fun of me -but it was cheerful and I did not resent it.
In the concert in Udine another incident happened. I was rather tense (I think it was the first time we performed the concert outside the walls of our Conservatory) and when the fifth concert was over, the solists came backstage, and I went on stage with my buddy Francesco and the first violin Andrea. As we were about to sit down, I realized I had left my scoresheet backstage! A better player would have acted nonchalantly and played by heart, but I was too nervous -so I rushed back and grabbed it, re-entering on stage with the eyes of the public on me but, what’s worse, those of my director following me like a missile approaches a plane to be taken down.
Ah, memories… I wish I had a recording of those concerts! I remember the one in Conegliano was indeed recorded, and I was promised a copy of the tape which never came.