martes, 27 de abril de 2010

A rhapsodic blackout

Thanks so much to all of you who have come all the way to the fantastic World Theatre at Bintaro (South of Jakarta) to come to my piano concert last Sunday. I do feel rather guilty to make you all travel that far, but I hope I've made your odyssey worth it. And sorry for the blackout (electricity, not my brain!) during and before the concert; I should say that the timing of the blackout was very precise, eh? Right after our great tenor Dani Dumadi finished his performance. Imagine if it had happened during my sporty running and jumping fingers during Rapsodia Nusantara.... Anyway, that blackout was the second time that it happened during a concert of mine. The first time was during my first concert in Moscow, back in 1995. At that time, the timing wasn't that good: it was in the middle of my playing of a Rachmaninov Prelude. It was almost the end, so I just creeped to the last note ... and then started making jokes waiting for the lights to turn on again. Nobody laughed at my jokes, so either : 1. My jokes weren't funny. 2. The Russians didn't understand English, or 3. Those serious Russians came to see me play and not joke around, so they thought I should've stopped making a fool of myself and meditate in the darkness instead.

Oh and I would like to congratulate my guest stars in that concert: the 12-year-old (you won't notice it when you hear her play) Victoria Audrey Sarasvathi (the youngest finalist of the Ananda Sukarlan Award (ASA) 2008) and Dani Dumadi, the tenor who fantastically sang my 6 songs for high voice. Their contributions to the success of the concert were invaluable. Both are newcomers here, Dani since he just came back from the US, and Audrey because of her age, but you should remember their names coz they'll gonna hang around up there, and very high above!

Anyway, I must admit that I had a hidden agenda performing my RN #4. As you know, it's the obligatory work for the Ananda Sukarlan Award next July. I have received many complaints about how difficult it is ... and me performing it last Sunday was also to proof that it is not that difficult. I hope you got my point.

A friend of mine, Johannes S. Nugroho, a highly respected pianist and also Dean of the Music Faculty at the Pelita Harapan University couldn't make it to the concert due to a bacterial infection in his digestive system (it's been like a week that he'd been suffering, but he's recovering well, as I learn from his emails. Play lots of music with vitamin C major, Johannes! Get well soon!). He is very familiar with, and has worked with his students on a couple of my RN's. And here is what he said:

I think technically more or less is about the same as Rhapsody 1. And I even think musically this should be simpler since it is in a much less "rhapsodic" nature compared to the 1st one. So participants should be able to have less hardship in digesting #4. But both do require exceptional imagination from the pianists and somewhat an ability to grasp the structure beneath zillions of notes, otherwise, so sadly, these Rhapsodies can be more rhapsodic than you intended them to be:)

Thanks for the wish! I do need to get well, and well soon. J.

Well, there is one thing that I can tell. RN #4 is a bit longer (about 2 minutes, but it could be less if you play it faster! he he ...) than the obligatory work for ASA 2008 : RN #1. Well? So?