Sunday, August 17, 2008

The ultimate backing

Here's a lovely story submitted to the Choir newsletter by Ann Knight. Since she tries to use computers as little as possible (wise woman!) I'll post this here on her behalf:

After two recent experiences - the first being the fact that the choir, Rachel Swindells and Norma, were initially the unacknowledged "backing group" at the rugby test (thank you Brenda for rectifying this); and the other where a local student on being contacted by the accompanist regarding arranging a time for a rehearsal for an upcoming concert, was told that it was not necessary as she already knew the piece. I was reminded of the book "Am I too Loud?” by Gerald Moore, the legendary accompanist.

Moore accompanied most of the top singers and instrumentalists (and some not so top), of his day and had some wonderful stories to tell.

Early in his career he was often mentioned in either the publicity or the programme for a duo concert with a singer or instrumentalist, and was often met with disbelief when his bill was presented for payment. At times the piano was behind a curtain, pillar or large pots of greenery.

My favourite though would appeal to David - it was suggested to a choir singer that she might prefer to stand at the front so she could see the conductor better, but she said it wasn't necessary as she saw him last year.

Ann says "Am I too Loud?” by Gerald Moore is a worthwhile read and there should be a copy in the Dunedin Library.

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