Sunday, 1 February 2009

'A cold coming we had of it' - at Haddenham

With apologies to T.S Eliot, but it was soooooo cold at Haddenham where the Horizon Ensemble played on Saturday evening! I really felt for Carol who organised it. When she approached me I said that two things were essential: we must have a good piano and the place must be warm. And she did everything within her power to ensure that this was the case. The boiler was put on at 9.00 a.m. in the morning. However, she wasn't to know that it had malfunctioned and we arrived to rehearse at the parish church, which dates back to Norman times, at 4.45 p.m. only to discover that it was without heating at all. Still it wasn't very cold on Saturday was it? Actually it was!

By way of rehearsal we 'topped and tailed' and within an hour they had brought in portable heaters to place alongside us and the boiler was repaired within an hour of the concert. Sadly, this made only slight difference to the temperature. 

The challenge for clarinetist and bassoonist was to play at pitch because however much the instrument was blown it remained very cold and therefore played flat. We placed them right next to the hot radiators in an attempt to warm them up, which couldn't have done them a huge amount of good! But this was only half the problem; the other was moving our fingers!!

The overall result wasn't disastrous and in fact it was a good evening. For me, the piece that suffered was the Weber Concerto, which just didn't have the sparkle it should have. The other pieces were very well received, especially The Bassoon Song in which I sang, although I did sing it rather well. Sarah Watts' quirky, jazzy, 'Everything is Somewhere Else' really was a treat to play as well as to listen to. And the melodramatic Glinka, Trio, against all odds was hugely successful.

The downside was that it wasn't the joyful experience it should have been because it was such hard work. For comfort I could have murdered some chips on the way home but sadly Buckinghamshire villages didn't oblige, and so arriving home I settled for cheese on toast with plum chutney, followed by a generous glass of whiskey. This helped to warm me up but it still took some time.

In the light of this and another experience at this time of the year, I think we'll need to consider carefully as to whether we accept gigs in churches in the winter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds a shame. And not much better to think that for the showcase of tyhe Church's week, Sunday, people are being invited to a cold building. Any wonder people don't bother?