Yesterday Philip Higham and I recorded our programme for the Edinburgh International Festival’s Chamber Soundscapes series. Music by Nadia Boulanger, Martinu, Suk, Debussy and Beethoven.
Our performance was relayed through speakers in Princes St Gardens at lunchtime today (in the rain) and is now up on the Festival’s YouTube channel, where it will remain available for three months. Click here to go to the recording.
Rehearsing and performing under the new Covid-19 restrictions was a bit daunting (for example you’ll see in the photo that Philip is sitting further away from me than usual, to comply with the 2-metre rule), but it felt great to be playing chamber music after five months of not playing with anyone. Or to anyone for that matter. We were both struck by the onslaught of adrenaline!
Talking of adrenaline, I probably caused Philip to experience an extra jolt of it when I misremembered the order of pieces in the programme and launched boldly into the start of the Debussy Sonata when he was expecting to hear the dreamy beginning of the first piece by Boulanger. He had about 12 seconds to recover while I played the opening bars, but he joined in so smoothly that I had no idea anything was amiss. Afterwards, when I realised what had happened, I asked how he was able to react so quickly without scrambling to re-arrange the music on his stand. ‘I played the Debussy from memory’, he said. Definitely the coolest person in the festival.
To my ears, some of the intensity we felt yesterday at this chance to perform in mid-lockdown made its way into our performance.