Sunday 20 January 2008

Schubert Lieder

We took the A2 students to the Barbican on Monday to hear a Lieder Recital. (Tough eh?)It was so good I swear the guys were playing the dreaded Schumann Piano quartet better the next day. That and the two hours of slog we put in earlier on the Monday.

There was one moment when antiphonal coughing (Venetian style, pity the Gabrielis never got with it really,) across the auditorium threatened to obliterate the music. New colleague turned to me in amazement at one point. Then we reached the final cadence and in the moment just before the pianist lifted his right foot off the pedal and we heard the dampers make contact with the strings, an almighty cough. At this point the baritone suggested politely that the audience saved its coughing until the end of the music and we all applauded. Having a cough is not fun, but these were not stifled ones. It really did sound like a coughing contest, or a new form of signalling. I once walked out of a piano recital, taking my cough with me. I was nearly choking, as it goes and no end of cough sweets did any good.

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