Friday, 16 June 2017

Twilight concert delight

Another hot day today, spent lying low until early evening, when I went to St George's to help with the preparations for the evening's piano recital by Thomas Kaurich, held outdoors on the patio in front of the building. It was mainly a question of setting up tables and laying out rows of chairs. Thankfully, the sun sinks behind the Gibralfaro fairly early, making it possible for the specialist piano transporter to bring in his van - a tight squeeze on the narrow path up the hill to the church - and then unload from the van and assemble a Steinway baby grand paino single-handedly. It was a remarkable feat of skill, as it weighs several hundred kilos.

There were about fifty people for the concert, not quite as many as had been hoped for. Something was amiss with the advance publicity apparently. Thomas played with passion and sensitivity works by Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin. Some I was familiar with, others not. Earlier in life, Thomas was a recitalist on the world touring circuit. Then he went into the organisation and management side of the music business. Then seven years ago he and his partner decided on a change of career direction for them both and took on a guest house in the mountains beyond Velez-Malaga. Now he's returned to giving piano recitals as well, much to everyone's delight. He was very well received.

Sitting in the fragrant churchyard garden at twilight, with blackbirds singing in the background, and little evidence of traffic on the road nearby was a sublime setting for listening to great classical romantic music. Just imagine, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, one piece everyone present will have known, as darkness descends. Sadly the moon is one the wane and had not yet appeared in the sky, in apparently in the past there have been full moon concert nights at St George's. What an asset! I'd love to see a small but intimate festival in this setting - several nights of lieder singing, string quartets, wind ensemble, piano and harpsichord music. It would need a small team of professionals to run. I've seen how much hard work went into this event by a handful of church members. One can but dream.

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