Life imitates Debussy

6th August 2011 | Concerts, Musings, Travel | 0 comments

Ambialet pianistsThe Ambialet piano course ended last night with concerts by the participants (see some of them in the photo). It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to raise their game in these circumstances, even though most of them find it a nerve-racking experience and dread it beforehand. Every single person played the best they had played all week. Although I had only been teaching them for a week, I nevertheless felt proud of them and basked in their pleasure afterwards.

I was tired and didn’t make it much past midnight, but some of the participants stayed up longer, chatting in the courtyard by the bar. In the middle of the night I awoke to hear the distant strains of ‘God Save the Queen’, sung by an impromptu choir of pianists, floating on the night air. It was pleasingly like that moment at the end of Debussy’s piano prelude ‘Feux d’Artifice’, when the music dies away and you hear fragments of La Marseillaise, marked ‘distantly’.

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