After reading, 'Painful gig story from Don Mincher', over on, 'Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog', and leaving a comment, I feel I should tell the whole story here.
Some years ago, the Hill/Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo were asked by Teldec to record two new albums, 'Les Deux Amis' and 'The Sound of Strings', with a five week break between each album.
This is, of course, an honour, from such a well respected label.
The duo obviously spent many weeks in preparation for their trip to Berlin.
One week prior to departure, Robin, who is so careful with his hands, cut the index finger of his left hand, opening a tin can.
This required a visit to the local Accident and Emergency department, where a very anxious doctor, was given the job of suturing a musician's finger....
There was no way Robin would cancel the recording.
He continued his rehearsal as well as he could, and a few days later, set off for Berlin.
The duo quickly got into the recording, and Robin was able to transcend the pain and focus on some rather demanding music. The sound engineer found the blood and sweat (but no tears) rather difficult to deal with, but he just had to focus on the mixing desk.
The music ranged from 'Suite Italiana', composed for the duo by Mario Gangi, Fernando Sor, Pierre Petit, J.S.Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Rossini, Faure, Falla, Tarrega and many more, plus their own compositions.
For Robin, the main problem was barring, as the left index finger is under a lot of pressure, but he managed it.
The duo were so delighted when the last piece was finally recorded that they celebrated by walking into Berlin. They didn't appear to notice that it was a 12 mile hike, each way, until they got up next morning to discover the blisters - on their feet...
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman