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An ode to spontaneous concerts

So Emma and I were rehearsing for one of our Grieg performances, and during rehearsal she received an email.

Apparenlty, she had signed up to audition for a place in an opera company, and they'd invited her to come the very next Sunday. Also, they asked her to bring a pianist. She'd replied that might be difficult on such short notice, and the email she got informed her that in that case she'd be accompanied by one of the judges.

This happened on a Tuesday.

When I asked for more details - like for instance whether that wouldn't make her rather more nervous, and how she was going to even get to a neck of the woods in Haarlem with a mangled shoulder - she did the British thing of "oh, don't worry, it'll all work out" and suchlike.

Long story short, the next Friday we were rehearsing two arias from Massanet and Handel, and had decided that if they wanted more they'd have to be satisfied with Norwegian lied.

I drove us to Haarlem on the Sunday, we did the audition, all was happy in the world and we celebrated with lunch in a lovely foresty pancake house.

As we were lounging in the sun, Emma mentioned her parents-in-law were living close by, and that it might be nice to pop by to play a song there. After all, there was a piano available, plus her mother-in-law had expressed interest in hearing the both of us.

I agreed, thinking we might do one or two songs and then be on our way.

Emma's in-laws were very happy to have us over, not to mention very enthusiastic about the prospect of us making some noise.

So enthusiastic, in fact, that several neighbours were invited 'round to listen.

We ended up doing our whole Grieg programme, complete with piano solos, background information on both Grieg and the Haugtussa story, plus several hilarious Norway anecdotes.

Also, the likelyhood of us going over there to do a "proper" concert is quite high.

So, the lesson here - before going over to someones in-laws, grandparents or other unspecified members of an extended family, always check if you have all your scores with you.

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