Some Anecdotes from BSO's Cooking with Music
all his fame and glory,the great pianist Artur Rubenstein remained a modest
man, almost self-deprecating.
Once at a recording session after the first "take" of the Tchaikovsky Concerto he said, "I played enough wrong notes to write a whole new concerto! Now let us do it again!" The recording session lasted over five hours - until one o'clock in the morning. Then Rubenstein said, "Now I could begin all over again."
He was then eighty years old.
once announced that there would be a special rehearsal of new music (unsolicited
scores of which are constantly sent to conductors). There was little time
to look at the music, and the compositions were completely unfamiliar to
the players. Bedlam reigned, despite Koussevitzky's efforts to control the
At one point in the rehearsal, the second oboist, Jean Devergie, turned to Fernand Gillet, the first oboist.
"What are we playing next?" he asked. Gillet pointed to the next piece.
"My God!" Devergie exclaimed, "I just played it!"
|Soloists are the "spice" added to an orchestral concert, and they are to be admired enormously, not only for their talent but also for their durability. Jascha Heifetz, the great violin virtuoso, once ridiculed the notion that a sensitive musician must be fragile. "The delicate concert artist," he said, "must have the nerves of a bullfighter, the digestion of a peasant, the hide of a politician, and the tact of a nightclub hostess."|