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How the other half live.

How the other half live.

How confessional should a blog be?  Should it detail all the highs and lows, be brutally honest, or should it filter out the less successful and the more personal and keep only the resolutely positive?  When I started writing this blog I wanted it to reflect everything about one composer’s life, the rough and the smooth, the successes and the failures, and I hope that I remain true to that aim.  So here we go.

Yesterday saw the first public performance of the Suite For Two Clarinets to a packed audience in the Biblioteca here at Anghiari.  Our two Southbank Sinfonia clarinettists had put heart and soul into learning the piece, and gave a wonderful account of it.  I assumed that the assembled members of the audience knew that it was my piece, but some did not, so I have had a gradual stream of people come up to me and commend the piece’s pseudo-Baroque stylings, even a request for a version for two mandolins.

That was in the morning, and in the afternoon it all kicked off, a last minute change of plans meaning that I ran through from 3 o’clock to the end of the performance of Onegin at 11:30 without a break.  It was a tough and demanding sequence of work, involving playing, introducing, fiddling with subtitles, taking a rehearsal, and balancing (see below).  Thank you, Val and Paul, for keeping me fed and watered.

All about balance.

All about balance.

After the performance we repaired to Bar Baldaccio where we were visited by the Carabinieri.  The elderly signora who normally throws water out of the window has the trajectory blocked by scaffolding this year, so the police visits are her current tactic.  Even so, it was a decent end to a tough day.

I was up way too early, fighting off the tiredness, to fit in a coaching session for our local continuo player, prior to tomorrow’s evening concert, the idea being that I would then head off with the orchestra for a leisurely lunch in the hills, one of my favourite events of the Anghiari week.  Maybe I am too optimistic in laying out my day based on the information I have to hand, maybe I am just too self-important, but at my age I do not think I should be waiting for the fifth bus anywhere, especially when my timetable is contingent upon my getting the first bus back.  A ninety minute window erases the “leisurely” from leisurely lunch, and it just did not seem that I was a priority.

So, for once I have decided to put myself right at the top of my own priority list.  I have exercised for an hour in my hotel, with King’s X’s Dogman, by far their darkest creation, on my iPod, never a good sign.  I am going to finish this blog and then sit down to an afternoon of writing.  After that I shall go with my flow, decide what to do about the rest of the week and maybe I’ll feel brighter tomorrow.

Rehearsal yesterday afternoon - pay attention on the left!

Rehearsal yesterday afternoon – pay attention on the left!