'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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Concierto de Aranjuez and the Stray Piccolo

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are preparing yourselves for the New Year festivities.
In the lull between events the sound of music has been filling the house.
After a month without live music permeating every corner of our home it has taken some getting used to.
Particularly as Robin is rehearsing the fabulous, 'Concierto de Aranjuez' at the moment, and playing along to a recording at high volume.
More than once I have had requests from the children for Daddy to turn the music down...

Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is an incredible piece and one that places huge demands on the soloist.
Robin has performed it many times over the years, from huge venues with over 3000 people, with Carl Davis and the Liverpool Philharmonic, to small more intimate settings with local orchestras.

He relishes any performance.
It is a piece that requires frequent practice in order to deliver an authoritative and exciting performance.
I was once talking to Paco Pena and I asked him, as Paco de Lucia had just recorded and performed the work, if he had ever contemplated doing the same. He informed me he hadn't recorded the piece as it would require him to take at least a year out to learn it.
That's how hard it is.

But Robin is ready. After many years he finally feels he is in the position to record it.
He has a performance later this year, hence the current preoccupation.
So we are listening to various recordings and interpretations at the moment.

Actually, I was quite proud of myself, (and it shows just how well the wife of a musician gets to know any piece of music they are playing) when listening to one recording I said, "The orchestra played a wrong note there..."
We listened again, and sure enough I was right. One wrong the piccolo department.
I said I had a good ear.

So, if there are any orchestras out there who are planning to perform or record this piece, now is a good time to approach us.
Otherwise we may have to take the recording overseas...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Many thanks to you all for your patience over the last few weeks whilst I took a break and made use of the time by having my computer repaired. (Many thanks Pete!!)
I hope that you have enjoyed looking back over the archives in my absence.

December has been a particularly busy time for Robin, and consequently for me, and he spent the grand total of 18 hours at home during the entire month.
He has been to 15 countries and performed 6 concerts, all of which went extremely well.

Robin should have been home for a whole day, but there was an unfortunate, and worrying situation on his flight from Philadelphia.
Mid Atlantic the plane developed a problem and had to return to the US.
After an anxious time, and much delay circling Philadelphia to burn off and dump surplus fuel, the plane, thankfully, landed safely, all the passengers were transferred to another aircraft, and they set off once again. Later in the flight Robin, who is a veteran of 100s and 100s of flights, asked one of the stewardesses how common this kind of procedure was in her experience. She replied that she had been a stewardess for 26 years and had never ever had to turn back during a flight before.

For most of this time away Robin has been in the Caribbean, so he has returned today with a rather pleasant suntan.

However, home he is, and back just in time to celebrate with the family over the festive period.
As you can imagine we are all delighted.
Whether Robin will be quite so happy about 5 o'clock tomorrow morning when we are woken by two hyper excited children, and he has to drag himself out of a jet lagged sleep, remains to be seen....

But for now, we all hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Time for a Short Break

I'm taking a couple of weeks off.

This is a particularly busy time of year and it has been difficult to get the chance to prepare any posts.

However, a few weeks ago, my Mum called around with two, giant lever arch folders, full of the printed version of 'Life of a Musician'.

As only a Mother can, she had been dutifully printing off each post as it was published.
It's quite staggering to see just how much I have written over the last 2 and a half years, and the variety of topics covered.

So, whilst I take a break, (to oversea the building of an extension to house these enormous tomes), I know there is lots for you to look back on.
In fact, there are 648 other entries, so there should be plenty to keep you occupied!

Enjoy browsing the archives, and I'll be back soon.