So, I got to perform Schubert’s ‘Der Hirt auf dem Felsen’ again this afternoon, and as I said, I’m very grateful to have been given the chance to tackle it again. As for my performance, hmmmmm… I was able to sing the slow middle section with less tension that last year, and the clarinetist (Shaq Southwell) and I had fun singing the first and last movements as ‘duets’, so to speak. We made eye contact, we listened to each other, we leaned into the music together at times and it was a great feeling to connect with the music and with him as a performer in that way.
I also ran low on breath at some spots I hadn’t before (could have something to do with the skinny little belt I decided to wear – see pic), and I shanked, I mean, shanked both of the money notes – the high b in the slow section and the b-flat in the final phrase of the piece. I don’t even know what came out of my mouth in the slow movement. It was sharp, shrill, unmusical, nasty. The last high note was at least 1/2 step under, if not more. But I just kept on going as if to tell the audience, ‘No, you didn’t just hear that.’ If I had the ability to put up the video here, I would. (I must have NO PRIDE.)
I’m happy about the things I did well. I even improved a thing or two. But for those two notes (okay, and a dropped beat or two), I love what I did with it. I’m not beating myself up about it, as it was a low-pressure situation. Although, I have to say, if my fellow singer friends had been there, I’d be DYING. Oh, to shank in performance in front of other musicians – a fate worse than death.
I’m hoping to make peace with those high notes someday and find a way to integrate the fun I have with the rest of the piece into those few beats of time in the music.
Here’s what I look like right this minute, skinny belt and all: