Live recording of concert at castle Le Paige, Herentals, 07 June 2014

Wim Winters, Clavichord

I personally am very reluctant to contextualize a performance to "explain" the end result. Here, I must make an exception, it's less necessary than it is interesting. But let me first give you the program of this concert, so you can easily navigate:

0:35 M. Clementi: Sonata in F sharp minor, opus 26/2
18:08 W.A. Mozart: Variations on 'ah vous-dirai je, maman"
29:07 J. Haydn: Fantasy in C Major
36:36 L. v. Beethoven: Sonata in C Minor ("Pathetique")
All pieces are also available as 'studio-recording', just click on the names of the pieces above. It might be interesting to compare!

Of course, you all know that a live concert is different from the 'semi-studio'-recordings that I make here at home or, as we did with Beethoven's pathetique and will do again in future recordings, on location. I am aware of the fact that uploading live concerts put me at a certain risk, since you have never fully control of everything that will happen.

But... the more interesting it is to share it with you all!

For this concert, I was (as usual I think I may say) very well prepared. This sonata of Clementi really is a stressy thing to play, and as you know, the clavichord has no right pedal, so nothing is there to rescue you in case you appear only to be human...

So, what is the interesting part in this that I want to share? It is the fact that the day before the concert, I became so incredibly ill, as I seldom have been. I was sick, had a terrible headache, and the last thing I thought about, was to play this concert... Even going to the doctor was something that was hardly possible. The morning of the concert, I felt better, but only in the early afternoon, I felt that I would manage to travel to Herentals. Anja, my wife went along with me, as well as my uncle, who I asked to help with transportation of the instrument etc. He did a wonderful job.
I recovered much more in the hours before the concert, had a good practice in this beautiful place with wonderful acoustics. The whether was warm, and with around fifty people expected, this early 20th century room would be filled, so the temperature could go up. I knew it, and felt reassured both in spirit and physics. All good to go.

But: I never experienced this situation before and could not even think about the consequences of the fact that I was weakened, although it didn't felt as such. My concentration level from the beginning on, was so much less than normal, that I had to start "reading", and to make small technical adjustments all the time through the concert. It only normalized while playing Beethoven.
Re-listening to this recording, which was announced to the public in the program, and consequently hard to skip, made me wonder what the influence was of this all. yes, of course you can hear the concentration gaps (a nice saying for 'wrong notes'), more than I use to have, but apart from this annoying fact, the atmosphere during this concert was very very nice. But, I did chose some "defensive" tempi. I was more prudent, I had no limit left to 'throw myself completely in", there was a distance between me, the instrument and the music.

And yet... I do like some interpretative changes that occurred because of that.
So was this a nice experience. Of course not the day before. But afterwards, I felt and feel that I learned a lot.
And I was very happy to feel the presence of the audience, and hear their enthusiasm during the concert and afterwards, realizing, that the power of musical communication goes through so many more ways than we realize!

"Glamour shot" for my clavichord
Exterior of this beautiful castle, built in 1892

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