Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Turning Pages for Risto Kyrö

Tuesday the 1st of April. Today my piano teacher Risto Kyrö played a concert here in Tampere Pyynikkisali. He performed Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise together with the baritone Aarne Pelkonen. Must be named that Kyrö played on a fortepiano, which was rented and brought to Tampere only for this concert. This was actually a bit like a practise concert for next Friday, when they are going to perform the same concert in Helsinki as the last of four concerts that together form the artistic part of Kyrö’s upcoming doctorate degree. Risto Kyrö asked me yesterday if I could turn pages for him in the concert, which I of course did with joy!

Aarne Pelkonen

Risto Kyrö

 In the morning I came to the computer class room for printing the newest version of “Min Gud” and Matilda looked at me in surprise and asked “Why are you so pretty today??” on which I answered “Why thank you, I guess I can’t help it!” but then added “I’m turning pages at tonight’s concert” on which Matilda replied “Ahaa! I knew there was a reason!”. Good friends like Matilda are so much fun!

After that I once again had a short meeting with the choir conducter Markus Yli-Jokipii, during which he gave me more feedback and ideas what to improve in my piece “Min Gud”.  After that I had a meeting with my classmates Lotta Harju (violinist) and Anu Mattila (singer and cantor) and we prepared together our upcoming presentation for our next pedagogy class about “The hidden curriculum”. (By “hidden curriculum”  (piilo opetussuunitelma in Finnish) you mean “everything you are supposed to learn at school (such as for instance social norms, behaviour, how power hierarchy works and how to become a good citizen), which isn’t officially written into the curriculum, but which you are supposed to learn between the lines.)

After these meetings I went to Pyynikkisali for listening to Kyrö and Pelkonen practising (and for turning pages). I was glad I was with in the practise, because for instance I didn’t remember that “Der Leiermann” is the last song of the cycle and got up for turning pages. I’m very happy that didn’t happen in the concert! And it is always nice to know how the other pianist wants their pages turned; rather to early than to late or the other way round etc.

After this I had time for a quick lunch before I went to give piano class to my “practise pupil” Jani Laaksonen. It is sometimes a bit funny being his teacher, because he has already graduated from composition and choral conducting and is now studying his third degree in music (singing teacher) an moreover he also has a degree from the theatre academy in sound- and lightdesign. He was my tutor when I began to study composition in 2008, and now I’m his piano teacher. He is a very busy man, so I give him lots of short technical exercises (Czerny’s 160 short etudes) and scales, but also one lyric piece at a time (such as Sibelius Kuusi/Granen/Spruce), so that he keeps his singing piano tone that he has achieved in the past year (when he was studying piano with my friend Hannele Ahola).

After the lesson I practised piano for a while, then changed to black clothes for the concert tonight. The concert started a bit late, because the ticket queue was so long, which was a good reason! Being so close up I noticed how nervous my teacher Kyrö was before the concert. It is rather soothing and nice to know that even the great professionals are nervous on stage.

The concert went really well! (And also my page-turning went better than in the morning, haha!) But it was a slight pitty I couldn’t really listen properly to the complete picture, as I was so concentrated on turning pages. But I have to say there are quite a few fun ideas in Schubert’s Winterreise, I will have to take a closer look at them some time soon (after graduating, that is)! The fortepiano also was really nice to listen to and its felt-pedal sounds so soft and great! Everyone came and thanked Kyrö and Pelkonen and surprisingly many people came also and thanked me (even the next day), which surprised me!

After the concert I went back to the composition studio and continued re-scoring Min Gud for a while. But Markus said he thinks it’s better not to send it to my publisher before Näsin Ääni has practised it for a while, because I might want to make corrections, so now I’m not in such a hurry anymore. I sent of the first and third (last) movements tonight to Markus, so that Näsin Ääni can practise them already tomorrow at their reheral. Now I need a good night’s sleep!

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