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An Intermezzo of Finland

Apparently, I can’t get enough of the Nordic Countries. I would’ve said Scandinavia, but I’ve been told off too often about Finland not being part of it – I really should have paid better attention in geography, because in my head it really does, and evidently I don’t care enough to actively change this mindset.

Don’t tell anyone.

In any case – Finland! Filled with Fins, as is to be expected, but most importantly containing Elisabeth St-Cyr, Violinist Extraordinaire, who I hadn’t seen in real life since March. It’s a miracle the world didn’t end.

As has been mentioned before, I was to play Mozart with her – the fifth violin concerto, to be more specific – and (far more interesting) the Brahms violin concerto, which allows the pianist to make lots of noise. Something I did with relish, of course. I am pleased to report that the Yamaha we rehearsed on survived the incident.

It got even better about halfway through the week, after we visited one of Helsinki’s music book shops – Elisabeth needed something fancy and violin-related, which essentially meant that I was set loose in the piano section.

Long story short – the gap in my score library with the little plaque reading “Pictures at an Exhibition” on it has been filled. I expect to develop tendonitis within a few weeks. The fancy violin-related thing sadly wasn’t found in that particular shop, but in another more violin-focussed shop a few streets down some óther fancy violin-related things were bought. Depending on whether you consider rosin to be fancy.

Also, fun fact – apparently there’s a sort of lip balm for violins that helps with keeping the pegs holding the strings from slipping out, but nobody knows what it’s called, and since it looks like a lip balm everybody calls it lip balm for violins. It should be noted here that with “nobody” I mean “neither of the two violists I’ve ever spoken to with regards to this subject”. It really does look like a lip balm, though.

In any case, it was certainly a week well spent – lots of rehearsals, lots of fancy cookery (lamb and feta cheese were involved), some silly movies and a very healthy dose of good practice.

Especially the latter will come in handy soon – because oh yes, there’s another concert coming up next Sunday, the 16th of November, 14:00, on the fourth floor of the Central Library in The Hague City. Featuring three fantabulous dancers and myself, it’ll be an “Awareness Performance” for Art Generation’s project The Hague Dancing Through Time, which is absolutely awesome.

The programme will contain dying swans, nobodies, tap dancers and a water nymph – how can anyone resist that?

#violin #piano #helsinki

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