'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, October 01, 2007

Soprano, Socialising and Nova Scotia

The last concert on board the QE2, for this trip, went very well.
Robin was pleased, and relieved, as it was the first time he had performed this particular programme.
It is always a little more nerve wracking, when performing a new programme, as there is always the fear that a memory lapse will occur at some point.
However, that wasn't the case, and both Robin and the audience enjoyed the concert.
He did have a minor nail problem, when one became 'unglued', but this was quickly rectified, and the audience quite amused by proceedings.

He allowed himself 15 minutes on a sun lounger to relax, before setting off for the gym, to add his pedal power to the ships engines.
Last night he went to see the soprano, 'Annette Wardell', and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
They spent some time chatting and Robin is now working on a string quartet arrangement of 'Cavatina' for her. So that could be interesting.

Robin was obviously in socialising mood, as he got talking to a chap that remembered meeting him 25 years ago, at a concert in Luton.
It started when he was telling Robin how impressed he had been to see his book, 'The Guitar Gymnasium', in New York. They went on to discover that they had some mutual acquaintances, so were able to fill each other in on the last 25 years!

I had an email from a gentleman who was very complimentary about the blog and has been following the QE2 on its journey as he has a friend on board.
I've told Robin to look out for her, and was delighted to get some feedback from a reader!

The QE2 has now docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so I'm sure Robin will be going to have a look around. As his work is now complete on the QE2 he will be able to relax and enjoy it.
Mind you, even though the concerts have been performed,there's always preparation for the next one, which is shortly after he has returned home....


Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
You mentioned that now that the concerts are all over, Robin can start practicing for his concerts that are happening when he gets home. I was just wondering how far ahead Robin starts working on a piece before a concert. If it's a piece that he already knows, or if it's a brand new piece. And while he's on board and not playing, will it affect his routine for concerts further out than immediately upon his return, if he can't take too much music on board (I know my music collection is quickly becoming a library...)

Anna said...

Good question Ben!
It's a difficult one to answer though as it all depends on the work that is coming up.
Generally Robin is always learning new pieces, or composing them, to gradually add to a programme.
It is unusual to have a completely new programme as such a lot of work is required to get each piece up to concert level.
Generally a programme slowly evolves with one or two pieces gradually being replaced.
For this trip though, Cunard wanted three, 45 minute concerts, so Robin put together an extra programme.
Concerts on land are generally longer, 1 and 1/2 hours in total, so the programme will be made up of the various pieces he is currently performing.
However, there are times, particularly when asked to perform a concerto, when he has less control over the time scale. He generally would need at least 6 months, to tackle, for example, Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez', if he hasn't recently performed it. There's an awful lot of work involved for the soloist and it's a lonely place up there in front of the orchestra!
He doesn't make life easy for himself with his own concerto either, that would also require months of work, and he composed it!
As far as taking music on board, he is limited, to the amount that he can fit in his case. He does always take some new pieces to be working on, and often does a lot of composing direct to his computer.
As for his music library at home - what can I say, it's vast and constantly growing....