A little later this evening I will be coaxing a brave little piano through Beethoven’s last two wonderful sonatas.
It is very dark and rainy outside and my excellent walking boots with their vibram soles slide greasily on the beautiful but treacherous black uneven paving stones that are such a feature of Noto, along with the gorgeous colour of the soft warm stone. I have nearly fallen more times than is comfortable!!
There is a five day transport strike (will I or won’t I be able to travel by train to Palermo to meet my friend Ruth from the ‘plane by thursday?) and importantly, will my supply of my favourite toothpaste be held up? I have just about enough for the next 2 days, and I am eagerly looking forward to the simple joy of the new tube! There are some treats a girl cannot be without….. naturally.
These are not really worthy pre-concert thoughts, but they womble along beside the other lofty things that Beethoven evokes and inspires. Service to his art and dear mankind. His triumph of personal will over despair. His trust in a resolution to the turmoil, inner, outer and spiritual. His profound connection to nature, the season, the cycle of the day, the year, life itself.
Peoples’ lives and stories shared as I travel, continue to touch me and to nourish and enhance the context of music-making. My hope is that in turn, the music touches something in the listener that can assist the onward journey of life and bring them into closer connection with themselves.
Lastly, I am so very delighted to hear that my fantastic teacher and friend John Railton is in this year’s honours list. Congratulations, John. I can’t think of a more fitting acknowledgment of all the years of wonderful musicianship and mentoring that you have so generously given all those of us who have the good fortune to come your way.
(For those of you who don’t know John, he is the man to whom I am most indebted for my musical progress, and to whom I turn for advice over my playing. I have known him since I was a school girl in short white socks!)