July 26, 2010

Gulbene concert

Just back from playing my recital in the small town of Gulbene.

Before the concert began, the organizer was apologizing that the crowd would be small on such a hot night in the middle of the summer.  She told me that really there are only 10 people in Gulbene who are the concert goers regularly.  Well, not to worry, there were at least 30-35 people there, and they were a lovely warm audience.  At least 10 of them came up to me during the applause at the end with gifts and flowers.  Totally overwhelming.

The piano for this concert was a DDR product: an August Forstner concert grand.  Not a Steinway D by any means, but I had a couple of rehearsals on it ahead of time in which I tried to learn how to optimize its characteristics.  As apparently my email with program information was not received, and due to the extreme heat, I changed the program at the last minute, cutting it down to just over an hour with no intermission.  I think that worked out just fine.  But still, I don't know when I've ever sweated as much.  UnbeLIEVably hot!

Then we were treated to a beautiful meal afterward.

Now it's starting to feel like the end of the trip is very near.  Off to Valmiera tomorrow morning, then two more nights before we fly home.  Mixed feelings, bigtime.

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