I freely and cheerfully admit that I was completely and utterly wrong about the quality of performance at this concert. It was a most excellent evening — it blew us all away, musicians and audience alike. This conductor really knew her stuff; she trusted us more than we trusted ourselves. And what astounds me is that she didn’t know us, beyond observing a rehearsal or two previous to her turn at bat. We pulled it off, thanks to her, to her faith and her leadership and her solid preparation. In the end, this was not in fact the concert to miss if you had to miss one, as most of my regular concertgoers ended up having to do thanks to other responsibilities.
There were over a hundred people in the audience, which was wonderful too. I’m glad so many people got to experience it. My deepest thanks go out to MLG, HRH, and the boy, who were my own personal cheering section in the back corner. I saw the boy standing on his seat to applaud wildly after the first half of the programme, which made me grin so hard I thought I’d strain a muscle. And on the way home he was singing to himself in the back seat. We asked him what he was singing and he said, “I don’t know.” We listened closely and realised that he was singing the bell theme from the Carillon at the end of the L’Arlesienne suite. My heart just about burst. I was extremely proud of him and of how he behaved.
The only mishap on the part of the celli (and the biggest musical mishap concert-wide, I think) was that we completely and utterly missed our cue for the celli treble clef solo in the middle part of the Carillon. We were counting, and then we heard the oboe playing, and I thought, Hmm, I don’t remember the oboe playing here. And then the principal and I suddenly looked at one another out of the corner of our eyes, because we realised that we’d missed our entrance. It would have sounded awful if we’d jumped in, so we all let the oboe have a lovely solo. Who knew they played the same line we did? The conductor laughed about it once we were done, as did all of the celli. No harm done, but terribly amusing after weeks and weeks of work on that line and hitting the entrance every time. I think this version was nicer anyway; much gentler and more nostalgic.
Sunday morning was the monthly meeting of the Pagan playgroup, where they coloured eggs and painted masks. The boy’s egg is blue, although he kept handling it and most of the colour has come off on his hands. His mask is also impressive, with carefully blended colour and sparkles on the nose, feathers over the eyes, and one sparkly jewel just below the right ear with another on the left side of the chin. Oh, and with a riot of blue tinsel hair.
I had a group cello lesson Sunday afternoon, at which some of us incredulously dissected the previous night’s successful concert before settling into the group pieces. It’s nice to have all the heavy orchestral stuff behind me so that I can focus on lesson and recital work now. We got the final lineup for the recital and the official assignment of who’s playing what part in the trios and quartets, and my duo partner and I are making plans to meet to rehearse our piece. I love our group lessons, although I suspect we tax our teacher’s patience when we all get together and there’s variously missing music and giggling and rhythm issues.
Also, Saturday featured the most amazing warm, sunny weather. HRH got the last of the snow out of the shady corner of the yard, the boy got thoroughly muddy, and we went for a
walk sprint around the neighbourhood with frequent pauses to examine cracks and leaves. It rained yesterday, but the ground needed a good soaking, and it was a novelty to drive through rain instead of snow on the highway.
Today is anthology d-day. I have already crossed two of the four things on the anthology to-do list off, which means I’m halfway done, right? Never mind the fact that one of the remaining things is ‘read the ms. from beginning to end’ and the other is reorganizing a fiddly Excel spreadsheet that must be legible to my editor. Once that’s gone… well, I don’t know what I’ll do, actually. Probably hibernate for three or four days after having a long bubble bath.
My signing cheque arrived in the mail on Friday, too late for me to actually take it to my bank, so I must sit on it till Thursday. But hurrah for having money again! Of course most of it will go to paying bills, some to renting the cello for another couple of months, and some to the Mac mini (I hope). And there’s definitely a dinner out this month for us in the cards, too.