Chamber Music memories West Cork

Here I am ….. back from West Cork Chamber Music Festival, one of the most wonderful and memorable experience in a long time ( I had almost forgotten how wonderful it is to play chamber music with friends who happen to be amazing musicians).

The scenery was poetic, Bantry House ( the main venue where all the concerts took place and where we also spend a large amount of time rehearsing eating and generally running around from one concert to another) the stewards were adorable ( always looking after us well ) and the repertoire for the concerts were really great.
All the works I performed during that week were new to me, The Grieg and Mendelssohn cello sonata ( both virtuosic and energetic pieces ) and the grandiose Faure Piano Quartet Number 2…..about this piano quartet…let me tell you a little back ground to it.

When the wonderfully talented Polina Leschenko ( a good friend of mine ) asked me to take part in this festival and told me of the program ( four weeks before it started) I searched for the Faure piano quartet music in the library in Belgium…only to find the piano part and not the other parts…..I decided to take it anyway and read it on the train ( I remember thinking that I will ask Paulina to bring the cello part to the festival….only to forget later).

On the day I flew to west cork….I realised that I had forgotten to double check that Paulina was going to bring the cello ( this completely my fault…I should have not assumed and should have been a little more responsible) and after a few frantic phone calls…and checking on the festival web site which piano Quartet we were doing cuz I had a little doubt……….I managed to organise for the cello part to be faxed to me by the time I arrived over there….this plan turned out to be extremely successful ( thanks to the amazing help of two of my friends from London who basically saved me on this one).

Anyway, after much stress, I was more than relieved to have my part and decided there was no need to mention this to anyone…until on the second day when Polina and I were rehearsing …we started talking about the Faure only to realise that we were talking about two different piano quartets……a little panic came over me as I thought that perhaps I had gotten the wrong piece, we did not know what to do….because learning the piano part of that piece in one day while having many other concerts to do between that was just very tight…doable but difficult … we went to lunch.
When at lunch we meet the Viola player ( Hartmund ) and told him what was happening and a sigh of relief came over both of us because, he had somehow also misunderstood which piece we where playing and had the wrong one also.
Now two out of the four players had the right piece.

In the end we got the viola part faxed…..I had the piano part of the correct quartet in my suitcase ( that I borrowed from the Belgium library) and Sasha Menlikov took over ( as he had played it before) and the concert was really amazing……( I am sure it would have been as amazing with Polina ) it has been a long time since I had so much fun on stage.  The moral of this story , perhaps it is best to actually read the contracts a little more carefully in the future!
Stay in tune