J. Haydn :: Sonata in A flat Major, Hob XVI/46
I'll share a secret with you:
This is my best recording ever.
Yes, this is a stupid intro, I know (but at least you're still reading). What's the point of this?
It's cloudy outside, dark, today, on the 18th of August 2015, and no doubt that rain will start to fall again as it did the last days so much. In full summer, 21°C and rain. I'm sitting here, dressed in something I could wear in wintertime. And you know what? I like this type of weather. I feel as if the rain is decreasing my outside world, carefully covering my small spot here on the blue planet with two giant hands. O, I like the sun, I like the long evenings outside, with a fresh bottle of white wine, the deep talks when light falls, darkness comes, and those kind of things become serious enough to talk about that daylight would not even dare to touch. But this summer rain is making me very comfortable. Inside.
That's no explanation for the stupid introduction. Or maybe it is. I could easily sit in front of a window and watch the dark clouds for hours, how they pass by, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but always with a feel of hurry, to reach that undefined point at an undefined time, me being the axis of all that movement, or, less dramatic, the point of observation that is immobile. So, knowing this, this intro might be the best I could come up with.
But there is something else.
I like this sonata so much, and more than a cliché, it means a lot to me, since Haydn, as I told and wrote several time, is a constant discovery to me. I actually never played his music until very recently, and frankly, I don't know why.
We changed a few things for this video. Firstly, this is the first video where Anja did all the lightning and camerawork. That meant that I could free my mind from that and just keep playing before the recording.
It sounds as easy, but setting up two camera's and all the lights, easily takes an hour. You can see what the difference is to me: an hour preparation in both playing and concentration, or an hour in advance making myself nervous because of all the unwanted shadows, reflections, angles, etc... And while she was doing this, I could ask her to change the characteristics of the Neumann microphones. These very fine devices, the TML170-R have 5 different characteristics, and the R means Remote Control. So that is easy! A small device is being placed at the end between the microphones and the pre-amplifier, and one can switch there the setup of both mic's. So I could continue to play, asking Anja to switch, and keep on listening what the effect was on the sound. It is very different from having to stop, stand up, make the changes, sit down, put on headphones again and start playing again.
So by the time we could start, which was later than normal, since she took very well care of her new task, my mind felt as very well prepared. My fingers too. The first notes sounded around 22.15, and by the time the adagio began, the world had become much more silent, and yes... that is so much more inspiring to play.
And then Haydn... Haydn! I could play his music forever. And frankly, something that seldom occurs to me, I enjoyed his music even more after I made the editing both in sound and video, and watched/listened to the end result. It was as if I listened to somebody else... and forgot that I should be looking for last flaws and other things that would need attention. The music captured me... strange, not? And that, much more than all dark clouds of the world together, made me say that this felt as if it could be my best recording ever. First time experience anyway.
But I do like dark summer clouds.
Hope you enjoy!