In reverse order

Pascal Rogé was heaven. caroline and i went to see him at the SIPF today and i really liked the chopin and the debussy, especially the etude for 8 fingers and girl with the flaxen hair (cliched, i know). the half before the intermission was somewhat dark though, given the opening fauré nocturne and chopin nocturne in C minor, and then the Poulenc nocturne which didn’t really sound like Poulenc. He was my role model for Poulenc interpretation back in my jc days when i was still studying his recording for my diploma since i was doing a Poulenc toccata for my contemporary selection. His wife, as jack says, is quite young. let’s refer to wiki. he is 58 this yr, which is older than my dad! (i just found out my dad is 56 yrs old.. and he’s retired! that’s crazy. no wonder i am such a bum. it’s genetic.) rather surprisingly, the net yields no information about ami hakuno or her age. she was always secondo, since he is much better at articulating the melodic lines; we both felt that she was rushing, but pascal was a huge darling and always accommodated her at whichever tempo she happened to flop into. the revolutionary etude was a bit mushed together, i felt – the scales were not really clearly articulated, in part perhaps before that we had chopin’s aeolian harp etude and debussy’s etude for compound arpeggios, both of which were more big picture pieces. what i mean is that for like the aeolian harp etude, you’d be more interested in articulating the general thrumming of the harp, instead of each individual note – each note only makes sense when contextualized by a thrum, individually they have no meaning. i did not think this was the case for the revolutionary etude, but perhaps this is just his french interpretation, since after all he describes himself as an ambassador of french music. the schubert fantaisie was also a bit lacking.. especially in all the fast sections. generally i thought ami acquitted herself (of the fantaisie) in the rapsodie espagnole, but it may be because i am partial to ravel. i think our dear arts director of the SIPF is inaccurate though, when he describes the rapsodie espagnole as less ‘drilling’ than the bolero. through all four movements there was the same descending 4 note motif on and on again, beginning with it, ending with it – if that’s not drilling i don’t know what it is. and i’m sorry but i hardly think the piece evokes spanish climes. if you want to talk about spain let’s have some isaac albeniz and his lovely cordoba – ravel’s malaguena or habanera just doesn’t quite cut it.. i think falla was just being polite when he said ravel hit the spot even with his limited exposure to the country. okay that’s the end of my geek talk. i really enjoyed myself though and am looking forward to sudbin’s prokofiev tomorrow. i found out today that he’s playing one of the haydn sonata’s i have performed before for an exam in tomorrow’s programme. he’s considerably younger than pascal but is also spoken for :( grah.

do you think performers perform better happy in love or sad in love? i ask because both today’s and tomorrow’s performers are presumably very happy in love since they were both only recently married. personally i perform better when i am sad in love, although my piano practice recently will not testify to that simply because i am a noob and have not the motivation to perform well. at the same time being happy in love may bring about unusual inspiration, like debussy’s l’isle de joyeuse. or chopin’s aurore dudevant stuff.

it’s really nice having the post concert breakdown with caroline, with someone who knows what she’s talking about (mainly because she completely agrees with me :D). the last concert i saw would probably have been xak playing the beautifully intense schnittke, so i haven’t really been in the loop for awhile. am looking for someone to go for l’histoire du soldat with me the sunday afternoon after next. caroline’s already seen it in jc2 so i’ve gotta find someone else i can catch up with at the same time so i can kill two birds with one stone and not have to meet up with people excessively. the socialising in the past few weeks while fun and all can be/have been really draining and more than before now i don’t think i want to revive my mobile. i just want to sit at home and rot, you know? alone.

i got up at 6.30 on a saturday morning to take this picture, and it was well worth it.

biked to seletar reservoir again today and brought my camera this time. today i also uploaded a few of my long overdue winter break photos on flickr, photos up the empire state bldg observatory, photos in small’s jazz club, photos in philadelphia, as well as this morning’s photos.

cornell also finally forwarded zhengyi’s postcard to me after i shot off some very pissed off emails to them about not retaining/forwarding mail to intl students. it’s of a quaint little village in munich, and the first of its kind since my fair-weathered friend has not deigned to write to me despite his many promises to. absolutely shameful behaviour.