Thursday, May 14, 2009

Senior Recital

After sitting through a friend’s three hour graduation last year, Luke and Ariel decided to do a senior recital instead of a graduation. Last night was the night. Actually, it was supposed to be last Friday, but Ariel had the extended version of the ‘flu. Then on Monday, she strained a muscle in her chest—not good for a violinist. I pumped Aleve into her and made her lay flat on her bed with a moisture heating pad. (There was no way the relatives were going to change plane tickets again.) By last night, the pain was gone, mostly.

Ariel played Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in G and La Trille du Diable by Tartini, otherwise known as The Devil’s Trill Sonata. Tartini claimed he had a dream where the Devil asked him to be his servant. At the end, Tartini handed the Devil the violin to test his skill. The Devil played so well that Tartini couldn’t breathe. Apparently, at some point, he did breathe because when he woke up, he immediately wrote what he could remember of the music. In other words, La Trille du Diable is an early 18th century version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Luke plays the piano and performed Ballade by Debussy, Polonaise Militaire by Chopin, and Gavotte by J S Bach by memory. And he did Prelude in G Minor by Rachmaninoff with the music. If you’ve never had a child play a recital, then you’ve never met worry face-to-face. You can’t relax when the child plays. Instead, you think, “Okay, here comes a nasty section, don’t miss the C natural—oh, good, you got it. Now don’t lose focus, there are plenty of hard bits left.”

For a finale, Luke and Ariel played Bartók’s Romanian Dances duet. It’s a series of six dances that move from fun to spooky to Bacchanalian chaos. Thankfully, we found someone to move/turn the pages for Luke because the pieces move so quickly that Luke turns the pages by swiping his hand across the music stand and throwing pages to the floor—amazingly dramatic, but prone to problems.

During the last rehearsal of the Bacchanalian chaos, Ariel played so aggressively that her shoulder rest popped off. But during the performance, nothing popped. So, I was relieved. Once it was over, I thought I’d be relaxed. But it was then that my hands started shaking. I’d been cool throughout the program, or at least as calm as you can be while mentally talking and praying your children through their pieces. But now, I could hardly pour punch.

This goes to show when you’re thinking of a hobby for your child, teach them needlepoint or scrapbooking. This is way less stressful for the parent. Sadly, I have two more musicians. Gulp.

Here’s a picture.


  1. Was it Duncan's Three-Hour Graduation your referencing? Heh heh.

    (My favorite of the entire performance were the Romanian Dances. They were awesome!!)

  2. I really liked the Devil's Trill Sonata. It was great. Of course, I also really like the Devil Went Down to Georgia. Satan is such a splendid musician, no?

  3. I really like the Devil Went Down to Georgia too. However, if I ever managed to learn the music, Mom would never let me do the "speaking part" in public. Very frustrating. Sigh.

  4. The show was so great it is about to be released on DVD by the Keller Family label. Grandparents were not so nervous, but had the pleasure of beaming with pride. Not sinfully, I hope.

  5. you guys are so talented. I have to be put first in the concert to show how "not to play".

    The music sounds really cool!

    Wish I was there!

    Grace Duke

  6. Wow...sounds so beautiful!! Wish I could have been there :)