I seem to have spent about ten days playing in end of year Ecole de Musique events. First there was an ‘audition’ (the word they seem to used for a more informal concert) for the cellos. Then a general one for the Ecole de Musique and last night an audition for about 30 of the adult ‘élèves.
The cello audition was supposed to be outside the école de Musique, but it was so hot, even at seven in the evening, that there was a hasty move to a not quite large enough room inside. I did not play particularly well, frustrating given this might have been my last true set of performances. I cannot get over how at my age I am still struck down by performance nerves! Plus the acoustics of the room did not help our chamber ensemble hear each other.
The general audition the following day was a bit later and somehow we managed to play outside. The Jardin des Orantes is a large space between the 17th century hôtel de La Condamine, home to the école de Musique, and the Maison de Santé above. There is a wide steps offering a sort of amphitheatre for people to stop, listen, and then if they wish, move on.
Here I was a part of the school’s ‘orchestra’, a kind name for the motley collection of mainly adult players. Nathalie, the directrice of the Ecole, had covid, which added to the already routine sense of chaos I get at these events. Music teachers are not necessarily good organisers and the programme went on and on, far too long.
Last night we were playing in the apartment of one of the pianists, an elegant second floor flat in one of the eighteenth century houses next to the Catholic presbytery. Despite the ambience of a salon, appropriate since we were playing duets or ensembles for piano, string and wind instruments, there was clearly a lot of nervousness and errors. Curiously I on the other hand did not suffer from my usual nerves and Lilou and I did a quite satisfactory rendering of the second movement of the Vivaldi concerto for two cellos.
Possibly my last performance in semi-public. But see the next post!