Piano party on 12th September

I hosted my second piano party last Saturday, 12th September 2009. As with the previous piano party that I hosted in February 2009, a lunch buffet was catered. The food was Peranakan, and from the same caterer as the last time.

There was a good mix of repeat and new guests. Earliest to arrive were Bihua and her husband (after her antenatal classes). Followed closely by Wzkit. It took Wzkit barely 2 minutes to get seated at the piano after stepping in the door. Here they are:

The first three guests

The first three guests

At the previous piano party Lynnette Seah (co-leader of the SSO) suggested that I invite different instrumentalists to play with piano accompaniment. Good idea, but none of the pianists I knew had any experience as an accompanist. As luck would have it, one of the new guests, Josh, likes to accompany violinists and always has a few pieces ready. So when he suggested accompanying Lynnette on some Kreisler I jumped at the chance, reminded Lynnette to bring her violin, and told her about Josh’s suggestion.

And so she turned up with her fiddle and some of her own scores! And not just Kriesler. After everybody had eaten we settled down for musical dessert.

Settling down for musical dessert

Settling down for musical dessert

Josh and Lynnette started out with the following Kreisler pieces: “Liebesleid” (“Love’s Sorrow”), “Praeludium and Allegro,” “Schön Rosmarin,” and “Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven.” Wzkit was the page turner.

Josh & Lynnette, and Wzkit turning pages

Josh & Lynnette, and Wzkit turning pages

Some of the engrossed guests

Some of the engrossed guests

A couple of the guests had never heard the violin played live, and by a good violinist. While Lynnette was playing one said that the next musical instrument he wants to learn to play is the violin. What a daunting task that would be!

After the Kreisler pieces Lynnette pulled out more sheet music, Vittorio Monti’s “Czardas”. But none of us had the sight-reading skills nor chops to accompany her at full tempo. So we ended up with music for two pianists and violin. The two pianists were Jon (playing left hand) and Seng Kiat (playing right hand).

Intrepid performers gearing up for "Czardas"

Intrepid performers gearing up for "Czardas"

Josh thought that it was a great idea to have two pianists share the piano load! Of course, this guaranteed that the fast bits would definitely not be at full tempo. Rachmaninov’s “Vocalise” (violin transcription) was also attempted, with Seng Kiat on left hand and Jon on right hand. There was one more, but I forgot what it was.

Czardas

Czardas

We were very grateful for Lynnette being so sporting.

There was a bit of a lull while the caterer came to collect the buffet equipment. Needless to say the leftovers were retained.

Three happy guests

Three happy guests

The picture above shows the Sauter dealer Alvin, Roxane (Steinway B), and Barnaby (Sauter Ambiente). Roxane and Barnaby are of course their PW nicks.

Roxane takes her ABRSM Diploma performance exam tomorrow 16th September, and played for us chunks from her programme. Fj_s tickled the keys for a short while, citing unpreparedness after an 11-year lay off as the reason. He still managed to tease with the opening page of Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy”. He’s promised to play more the next time.

We weren’t quite done yet with the piano accompanist thing, because Jon brought along his bassoon and played for us, accompanied by Seng Kiat. They were playing “Vocalise” from Lynnette’s score.

Jon on the bassoon, Seng Kiat on the piano

Jon on the bassoon, Seng Kiat on the piano

All-in-all it was a great afternoon of music, food and conversation.

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4 responses

  1. Hi! May I inquire how you keep the piano’s humidity in the 40% to 50% range, in such a humid country like Singapore?

    • I keep my doors and windows shut all the time, and use the aircon. The aircon is on for a while every day, when I am using the living/dining room. As long as the RH is around 60-70% the piano will be perfectly happy. And so will humans and pets.

      If you want to reduce electricity cost then use the dehumidify function of your aircon. It’s the symbol that looks like a drop of water. Use the timer to turn it on and off at fixed times every day. All aircons have it set to 60%. Using the dehumidifier function has the added benefit of dropping the room temperature a couple of degrees below the ambient temperature.

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