I undertook a long and intensive journey – it took about eight years. On my roadmap, the date came ever and ever closer, the date on which I stood one Sunday at 6:58 pm. Two peaks in the high mountains, separated by a chasm, and connected by a high rope, across which I had to pass to continue my journey.
Now I was standing at this point and had to get on the high-rope…
My friend and piano sparring partner, Marco Maria, recently told me, “Harald, enjoy this time in which everything is so fragile for you. When you feel that everything is hanging by a thread. The way you are built, you will sometimes suffer terribly from this. But it is a time that might never come again, not as intense as this.”
On Sunday 2 October 2016, 7 pm, I played my piano pieces to a public audience for the first time. A moment preceded by a long deep yearning, yet at the same time incredibly charged and full of potential for failure. I approach the stage, I speak to the audience, and see the eager anticipation in their eyes. Then I sit down at the piano, close my eyes, breathe deeply and evenly. Silence. Concentration. Now it is just the piano and me that remain. We become one. There is nothing else there. The left hand begins. I step out onto the high rope and make the first step.
The first cycle of three pieces played in sequence flowed through me like some hyper-realistic dream. Then the second address to the audience, followed by the first technically difficult piece … From my own perspective, many passages of this concert could not have been more beautiful. I was totally centered and in the music and the performance.
There were moments during the concert, when I was no longer aware of where I was. Times when my strengths started to falter and threatened to fail me completely, when I didn’t know how to continue. My fingers took over, as I no longer had any control. I didn’t even see the keys anymore. It was like that passage in Saint-Exupéry’s tales, when he flies into a thick cloud formation, completely lost orientation and his machine was thrown around on the gusts, before finally coming out of the fog and the heaven and the stars above gave him new orientation.
The Feurich grand piano was fantastic! It did everything I wanted it to, and danced with me, taking the lead. Together we enjoyed the wonderful acoustics of the room and the fantastic auditorium. Yeah, the audience! It was a dream! Super concentrated. Extremely interested and open for new, unusual music. During the recital I could have heard a pin drop. During the breaks I was ensconced in a wave of positive feeling and feedback. The response to the concert: couldn’t have been any better!
Now a new door has opened. A new chapter in my life story. In the coming months I would like to continue along this path and give as many workshop concerts as possible: to experiment, gain experience, work through the material, become stable… Alors!