Friday, May 17, 2013

A Fine Audience

Last night I had the privilege of performing Haydn and Bartok in my home for a wonderful audience of passionate listeners.

It was the recital on which I played my favorite Haydn Sonata.  Before playing I informed them that of the three Haydn works one scared me, another was my favorite, and the third was completely untried and would receive its first performance that evening.

The release of being listened to so well made the whole experience participatory: I never played my favorite sonata better.  The G minor (No. 44) went to the farthest extremes of despair before establishing a plausible equilibrium.  The terrifying piece turned out to be humorous without inhibition.  The first performance, new to all of us, exceeded any notion I had had of its potential.

There is much to be said for a close-up audience feeling its own presence, participating fully.  It completely informs performance, in fact, it completes performance.