“Britten? I thought I was only playing Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms!” (for the University of Hawaii Choirs concert this weekend).
So the day before I left for Italy, I got an email from Miguel Felipe titled “would you hate me if …” and the rest of the message said, “…I told you there was another piece I was hoping you’d play?”
Of course, it turned out to be a piece I had never played before, Benjamin Britten’s Venite exultemus Domino. And naturally, there was absolutely no chance to learn it before I left, so this morning when I got back to practicing the organ at Central Union Church, I played through it. It’s not so difficult, but it still took time to decide what stops would work on this piece that requires a stop change every few measures!
Meanwhile I’m really fighting jet lag — so sleepy during the day, and wide awake at night! After all, Italy is 11 hours ahead of Hawaii — almost exactly upside down. No wonder I’m wide awake at 1:15 am! But I can’t practice so late at night, only during the daytime.
Tomorrow night is the dress rehearsal, which for me follows two afternoon board meetings — one for the Hawaii Chapter American Guild of Organists, and the other for the music team at St. Andrew’s Cathedral — all of which means there will be zero time for dinner. I’ll either have to eat lunch at 3:30 pm or dinner at 9:00 pm. Oh well, I had a doctor’s appointment today, a “wellness” evaluation, and my doctor was thrilled to tell me that my already good numbers (cholesterol, LDL, HDL, etc.) have improved significantly since six months ago!
So maybe skipping dinner won’t be so injurious after all. My doctor just wants me to walk even more than the 2.2 miles that I do every day.
Wish me luck in getting through the Bernstein, an impossibly difficult piece for the organist since it was originally arranged for orchestra. I’m playing the part of the whole orchestra with just ten fingers and two feet! There are numerous stop changes as well as impossible page turns. I’m hoping I get a good page turner unlike the last University of Hawaii concert when the “page turner” failed to turn a single page! And it was music by Arvo Pärt, which never stops!
Go back and read my post, “The perils of page turning.” The last paragraph says, “suffice it to say that the poor page-turner who was assigned to me did not turn a single page of the music, (think deer in the headlights!) and I ended up turning my own pages — but as Peggy Johnson (an organist who formerly lived in Honolulu) wrote on my FaceBook page: There is not enough money in the world to get me to turn pages for an Arvo Pärt score ever!