2nd July 2016
#pifr2016 Day 7
We heard simply beautiful performances of pieces by Dvorak, Handel, Clara Schumann, Benson, Sarasate (with a surprise piccolo part played by Wibb), Kuhlau (Wibb and Gwen embodied the ballet class in their performance!), Gaubert, Lachner and Poulenc. Each of the faculty members had their own unique musical personalities, but they combined perfectly. Having done the work on empathy and compassion throughout the week, I could see this clearly in their performances with Roger Admiral on piano. They all brought out different qualities in each others playing. For example, Lorna’s commitment to delivering phrases with such beauty and care was evident in the Gaubert duet- both Lorna and Gwen matched each other’s contouring and dynamics. Wibb’s energy (still at the age of 80!), huge colourful sound and mischievousness were also well matched by Lorna and Gwen.
After dinner it was the turn of the students to perform in the form of skits. After some wine, we were ready to poke fun at our esteemed faculty members. I was involved in a skit entitled “Mindless Musician”- a parody of the retreat, where we basically portrayed the opposite of the faculty’s teaching and/or behaviour. Characters included Valley Girl Gwen, Heather, easily satisfied Wibb, tight and restricted Lorna, “Graby”, and victims. I played the part of Wibb and was happy to see him laughing at my impression of him, making short notes, drunk repeated notes, stressing in the wrong place (“elePHANT”) etc.
The evening ended up at Mark House, where we enjoyed each other’s company and admired the beautiful sunset one last time.
It really was a most fantastic retreat. I set out to be more open in my expression and find my confidence, and I believe I found that with inspiration to take away with me for a year of practice and self-exploration.
On the ferry home Chris noticed the fog horn or ship’s whistle sounded a bit forced- we presumed there was some tightening which restricted the flow of air and resonance. 😉
It’s been a “WONderful” week – I’m exhausted but also refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to prepare for my recital in Tokyo this August.