Monday, June 28, 2010
It's funny how I hated Chopin when I was a teenager with piano lessons and practice sessions forced upon me. Chopin then was all trills and trouble, more stress than soother. But now, it's the Chopin CDs I automatically put on when I want soothing music.
This year's installation of the annual piano festival had a largely Chopin theme, in line with his bicentennial. I missed most of the week-long concerts though, as I work weeknights, and could only go on the final night, which had little Chopin. But it was OK, that night featured Piotr Anderszewki and he played Bach (English Suite No5) and Beethoven (Piano Sonata No31), my favourite B-boys.
I had the last seat at the end of the row, and on my left, an empty seat separated me from the guy who sat two seats away. It was as if he had bought three seats for himself, he had a nice space of an empty seat on either side of him. In a full house, at that. Halfway through the Bach, I was amused to see him playing air piano along to the music. He got up to leave even before the lights came on for the intermission. And he never came back. Strange guy.
There was also Schumann in the line-up, and it wasn't until I leafed through the programme that I realised Schumann was born in the same year as Chopin. Which means that this year is also Schumann's bicentennial. But he's been completely overshadowed by all the fanfare over Chopin. I knew it right from the start, that guy was trouble.