There can be considerable challenges in a live performance that the audience never knows about. That’s just as it should be.
At the start of last night’s concert with Simone Dinnerstein and ACME (American Chamber Music Ensemble), Chandler Center for the Arts Board President Janet Watton announced the successful completion of the center’s two year, 3.2 million-dollar capital campaign. Great news, coming in a pretty inauspicious time to be holding a capital campaign. Good news, too, that the construction is already underway to renovate the 1907 building as they work toward the official rededication ceremonies this coming fall.
In the meantime, this season staff and musicians alike are ‘pardoning the dust’ with determined good cheer (for the most part) and making the best of the occasional less-than-ideal circumstances inevitable in this omelette-making process…like the building losing heat overnight (in subzero Vermont winter temps) and the house piano putting a few of its keys on tuning strike in protest. It happens. Unfortunately it happened on the night before a visit from the world-class pianist Simone Dinnerstein, with no time to make things completely right with the sulking piano before showtime.
The situation was handled with grace and understanding from Dinnerstein and ACME. I have to remember, as professional touring musicians these folks deal with TSA all the time. This kind of intensive training can provide remarkable perspective to wash away the nuisance of everyday setbacks like temperamental pianos. (Not that this is a recommended method for stress management.)
So, despite the stage’s temporary scaffold lighting and the cool 61°F ambient temperature in the hall, the inspired spark and warmth of Bach’s d-minor and f-minor concertos and highlights from the Well-Tempered Klavier (book II) and Art of the Fugue quickly energized the audience and rightfully restored the focus to the music. Very fine playing all the way around.
Is there anything lovelier than the second movement of the f-minor?? (Here’s a version played on harpsichord.)