27 October 2015


It was so bad we could at least have a laugh after the concert. I won't say who, or what, but we attended a dismally terrible concert recently. It was a solo performer playing Bach and other (that's not much of a giveaway: everyone plays Bach). I could see this person had experience behind him. But how careless! There were errors every bar or so, a rhythm you just couldn't follow even in something as regular as Bach, stops and apologies and frequent repeats. It reminded me a practice session, but for someone needing considerable work with a metronome. At least playing with others makes you keep to rhythms and structure. It was long, an endurance test. I wondered if he'd been unwell in some way, that he'd perform so badly. It was being recorded and I wondered if the recording would actually end up on radio. The interval was interesting: not a jot from anyone about the performance. Only after did our trio comment negatively, over a wine. And we remained a respectful audience. We clapped when each piece ended, if not with rapture. But there were more serious coughing fits than normal. Perhaps we should have demanded our money back (it wasn't a cheapie, especially for a one-man show) or better, it should have been volunteered, but we are too meek a culture for that. Thinking now, I wonder if the performer's had problems recently to explain such a gig. Now I worry about his state of health. It's all a strange and revealing outcome. Maybe more memorable than many competent concerts, in truth. Best that it remains an anonymous memory.

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