July 5, 2010

The Two-Concert Day

I think yesterday was the first time I had ever played two full solo recitals in one day.  They went pretty well, I think.  I especially enjoyed the Troldhaugen show, as I hoped I would.  The audience was a good size and very warm and enthusiastic.  Apparently there were tour groups from Holland, England, and Italy.  Also a woman from Montreal greeted me afterward, saying "I have to come all the way to Norway to hear you; when are you playing in Montreal?"  Good question.  I'll get to work on that.

In general, I think my "mash-up" program was well-received.  The stolid conservative Grieg-ites would probably prefer that I not stir things up so much, a point which I can see of course, but it is also important to me that one take opportunities to see things in a new light, from fresh perspectives.  By intermingling the movements of Valse nobles with Lyric Pieces or Tombeau de Couperin with Holberg Suite, one hears things that may not have been heard before.  I took great care in the programming to make sure that despite the mixed up-edness, there is great flow and unity in moving from one piece to the next.

Anyway, playing in Troldsalen was very satisfying.  It had long been my dream to play there, so I was very glad that the playing went well.  Before each set, I found it very comforting and grounding to take a look out the window at Grieg's composing hut and the fjord and the trees.

In between yesterday's two concerts was a drive back to Bergen, about 100 km.  We stopped at Steinsdalfossen and climbed up a trail to go behind the impressive waterfall.  I kidded my host about how tough Norwegians must be: two concerts in one day with mountain-climbing in between!  Then we saw this spectacular "Bridal Veil Falls" as well, but from a safe distance; no climbing needed.

After the Troldhaugen concert, we checked into our hotel and then went out for a celebratory meal at the aptly named "Holberg Stuen".   Time for Akvavit (the Bergen kind), beer, and herring.  Oh yeah.

I'm sad to leave this lovely city today, but Paris awaits!

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