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wrong concerto
February 19, 2011 5:33 PM   Subscribe

The lunch concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw used to be (possibly still are) often public general rehearsals for the big evening series. Here we can see the mental transformation of pianist Maria Joao Pires, who expects another Mozart concerto than conductor Riccardo Chailly begins to conduct.

The concerto, of which we are hearing the beginning here, is Mozart's famous D-minor concerto K. 466.. The Dutch subtitles suggest that Pires says "I can try it...I haven't got this here, it is at home..." and Chailly says "you played it last season, you know it so well...you'll be able to do it." (paraphrased). She then proceeds to play the piece in a most beautiful manner.

Here is the first movement in another recording, where she actually was prepared: 1 and 2
posted by Namlit (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Luckily, I suppose, the soloist has a late entrance (among Mozart PCs) in the opening movement of the D minor.
posted by Gyan at 6:10 PM on February 19, 2011


her look of terror is really something. reminds me of when i almost forgot the 3rd section of stairway back in 92. i never would've lived that down..
posted by jmccw at 6:16 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


i played the wrong concerto
i played it note for note
i played it all from memory
just like ol' Mozart wrote
but when they called the next tune
i ran out of the place
i just can't play like Jerry Lee
and rock "Chantilly Lace"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


The transition from "Oh Fuck" to "Fuck Yeah" was most interesting.
posted by lobstah at 6:18 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is like a nightmare come true. I have had such nightmares.
posted by Namlit at 6:22 PM on February 19, 2011


It's like that nightmare where you show up for the wrong exam, and without your pants...

(Wow, she has chops.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:22 PM on February 19, 2011


(Jinx!)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:23 PM on February 19, 2011


Hehe
posted by Namlit at 6:23 PM on February 19, 2011


As a kid I was once playing in a recital at my music school, where each student gets one piece. Mine was a solo piano piece by some mid-century Russian guy, Kabalevsky or Khatchaturian or something. I got through the exposition and into the development and suddenly, poof, I completely lost the thread. Luckily, mid-20th-century Russian music is a lot easier to fake than, say, Mozart, and I was able to improvise a minute of something that apparently bore enough resemblance to an actual development section that nobody noticed before I jumped back onto the rails for the recapitulation. I remember it being almost an out-of-body experience, just trusting my hands to do something reasonable while my brain frantically searched around for a way out of the mess it had gotten me into.
posted by dfan at 6:32 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the mid-90s Deutsche Grammophon released a complete recording of the Mozart piano sonatas in Europe. It is still available as a download for US $49.87 in FLAC (lossless). Great, great stuff.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 7:04 PM on February 19, 2011


I wonder why they did a different piece from the one she expected. Considering that the reputation of top-flight pianists rests on extreme subtleties, I was annoyed that the conductor was so nonchalant. It might have been a rehearsal, but famous musicians attract crowds, performance or not.
posted by ersatz at 7:28 PM on February 19, 2011


*Rehearsal or not.

But my legato was great, right?
posted by ersatz at 7:29 PM on February 19, 2011


That made me feel really sick. It's a nightmare I've actually had and makes me grateful to be an orchestral musician. Any random changes/programme misunderstandings are relatively stress-free when you've got the score in front of you, but from memory... I think I would have had a complete meltdown!
posted by joboe at 3:10 AM on February 20, 2011


I wonder why they did a different piece from the one she expected. Considering that the reputation of top-flight pianists rests on extreme subtleties, I was annoyed that the conductor was so nonchalant. It might have been a rehearsal, but famous musicians attract crowds, performance or not.
Lunch concerts at the Concertgebouw are informal affairs and entrance is free.

Though you'd have to be really lucky to see a major pianist like MJP rehearse (even nonchalantly), you can usually be assured of at least a high quality performance by talented musicians.

I live around the corner and when working at home on wednesdays, I usually sneak away for an hour during lunch.
posted by Bas at 4:32 AM on February 20, 2011


This is my nightmare, too, if you exchange "solo piano" with "crash cymbals."
posted by sleepinglion at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2011


Thank God for muscle memory.
posted by maryr at 9:22 AM on February 20, 2011


I wonder why they did a different piece from the one she expected. Considering that the reputation of top-flight pianists rests on extreme subtleties, I was annoyed that the conductor was so nonchalant

Well it must have been a misunderstanding somewhere during the planning. Counting from his arrival in Vienna, Mozart wrote 17 piano concertos, and at least six of them are programmed really often, usually referred to by their Köchel number. There's definitely a chance to get them mixed up. Which one was it, K 466, 467, 488, 491?? Uh let's look in my calendar. Pick the wrong month by mistake, and you'll think you'll have to play K 491 on the 4th instead of 466 (or whatever).

So basically the setup for these lunch concerts is: the soloist plays from memory, the orchestra (obviously) from parts that have been put on the music stands before everything starts, like in the real concert. The (large) hall is (usually absolutely) packed, the musicians enter the stage, settle down, the conductor turns around to see if the pianist is ready, and hey, comes the orchestral intro.
You can't just stop and let the orchestra play another song. They never learned any of these pieces from memory, and they have no alternative music ready. So I don't see that the conductor is nonchalant; he seems actually rather upbeat and supportive, in spite of the nightmarish situation.
posted by Namlit at 2:45 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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