Played the Tchaik at the Freo Eisteddfod

It’s all over!!

I was nervous ALL yesterday.  As soon as I woke up, at work, during meetings.   I thought to myself, “Why am I putting myself through this?”

I came home a bit earlier to play through some sections of the Tchaik, had dinner, and before I knew it I was warming up in the cold echoey room at the Fremantle Town Hall with some other musicians.

Initially I was meant to be first after the dinner break, but I ended up being fourth (the order of entrants varies quite a bit in the Open Concerto section I’ve come to realise).

At least this year Miss 9 and Miss 11 came along to see me too 🙂  Apparently Miss 9 was clapping very enthusiastically for me and enjoyed seeing her Dad on stage!

So I strolled onto the cold large empty stage with my young accompanist, tuned up, peered out into the sparse dark audience, and started to play.

Boy, I was still stressed, and although I tried really hard, my muscles were all tensed up too.  But I tried to make my violin sing and soar through the long journey of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto.

This year I even worked up a sweat on stage.  From stress, being tense, or just the 20 minutes of mental concentration required?

And then it was all over to what seemed like raptuous applause!

No memory lapse, but one too many intonation errors to make it a performance worthy of the finals. Something that really requires lots of slow practice and scales and arpeggio practice, which I obviously don’t have time to do.

Things that went well – opening, parts of the candenza, ending, interpretation and tone (mostly).

Things that didn’t go so well – intonation in parts, some of the shifts to nowhere I missed the top notes, clarity in the faster double stopped semiquavers and runs.

But I was so glad that it was over.  A personal milestone achieved for my violin this year.  And especially thankful that my young (Year 11 only!!) accompanist learnt his part in less than a week and really held his own too!

So in the last 3 years I’ve slowly worked my way through some of the violin concerto repertoire I had been lamenting not learning before – Wieniawski 2nd done.   Sibelius (although 1st movement only) done.  Tchaikovsky (1st movement) done.

Whatever “done” means.  For me (at my age and time to spend on the violin), setting the goal to perform it in public with an accompanist for my father and wife (and kids) is enough for me.

Getting to the finals or winning would be nicer still, but I’m secretly glad that I don’t have to go through all the stress again on Friday night!

But I’ve already started thinking about what concerto to learn next – Brahms or Beethoven or Barber?

For more posts on the Tchaik journey:


One thought on “Played the Tchaik at the Freo Eisteddfod”

  1. I stumbled across this post and am quite inspired that you did this. I used to play music a long time ago and have been playing again for a few years, and I might try to work towards something like this. What was it like to play as an adult amateur alongside I suppose up and coming young ones? Did you get yourself a teacher?

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