By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
A few days ago Vidas has caught a virus. It has usual symptoms - feever, running and sometimes bleeding nose, coughing, overall body weakness which he's fighting with loads of hot beverages.
But last Saturday he had to play a recital of Christmas organ music "In dulci jubilo" in our church.
Everyone knows that one cannot play or practice with high temperature, so I recommended he would cancel his recital.
He didn't want to. He felt that's what professionals do. They show up and play no matter what.
So I gave him a pill to reduce temperature and we drove to the church (although Vidas said it would be easier for him to play if I stayed at home this time, obviously because I was worried so much for him).
Before he caught a virus, Vidas was planning to talk between the pieces which would make the recital more interactive. But then the temperature would most definitely rise. So now he limited everything to the essentials only.
I warmed up the organ for him with his pieces - checked the registrations, while Vidas only listened.
So, if you are ever in a position when you HAVE to play the organ while sick, never bother adding some extras into your playing, simply do the bare minimum, simplify registrations (although Vidas still had the strength to do some magic there with Buxtehude's "Wie schon leuchtet").
Although I still would think twice about playing organ while sick, because you're risking some serious complications, if you absolutely MUST show up and play, maybe choose slower tempi, don't engage too much, don't try to prove anything, don't try to act like a hero.
Just get in, do your thing, and get out.
Oh, and by the way, it was a terrific recital. I haven't seen Vidas interpret the pieces in this way for quite some time (especially the French music - Daquin's Noel Grand Jeu et Duo, Franck's 7 pieces in G major and G minor from l'Organiste, and Guilmant's Noel on the old Polish Christmas Carol).
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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