Fizzer

There’s a great offer going from Musica Viva: 3 concerts, best available seating, for the remainder of the main subscription series for $120 all up. I received the brochure on Friday.

Just the night before I’d heard the Eggner Trio on the radio from Adelaide playing Haydn, Munro (well, I missed that because I was cooking dinner) and Saint-Saens.

I snapped the offer up (there wasn’t even one of those horrible credit card booking fees!) to hear the Eggners on Monday, Stephen Hough in October and Sabine Meyer and the Modigliani String Quartet in November. The fellow on the phone told me that tickets were a bit tight for Sabine. I’d anticipated that and I would have been quite happy to take the Goldner String Quartet and Mr Munro instead. (I’m piano partial. Nothing wrong with the other choices: Genevieve Lacey; the Brentano Quartet – although strangely I still find myself intimidated by the prospect of a string quartet, this is weird because it is the prospect I baulk at rather than the actual experience, which is never as intimidating as I somehow thought it would be.)

I couldn’t tell from the website and rather thought I would hear the Eggners’ program 2 on Monday, given that it was their second Sydney concert, but it turned out to be the same program they had played in Adelaide. I was happy to hear the S-S (opus 92 – second trio) again.

I even adapted to a 7pm concert without going home for a nap first.

Two odd things happened.

In the amiable second movement (you could call the opening as the Eggners played it, on the gentle side of Allegretto, “Sunday in the park with Camille”) the cellist’s string broke. They all went off stage whilst he changed it. I expected them to start the movement again but – No! – they just started from the beginning of the latest turbulent episode in the middle. I think that is just a bit slack, even if people have got trains to catch. I doubt if it was deliberately slack, because they know the music well and are right in the middle of it, but after quite a long pause for the string replacement the audience deserved to get the movement whole.

The other thing was that I was conscious of a peculiar crackling noise which I suspected was emanating from my neighbour. I only heard it sometimes, and funnily enough (I was upstairs at the side) when I turned away from her to face the stage. And then I heard something which sounded like that hissing sound which you get from loudspeakers. Finally, some time in the fourth movement of the S-S, the penny dropped: it was gas escaping from the imperfectly-screwed-down top of her bottle of effervescent mineral water which she intermittently sipped from and in between held in front of her with her program and other paraphernalia. The changes in sound arose from rearrangements of the position of the bottle and variations in replacement of the bottle top. It must have been a very local sound, especially the crackling, and may even have projected quite directionally – which accounts for why I only heard it when my head was at a certain angle.

I’ve encountered all manner of odd and distracting noises, but this was definitely a first for me.

2 Responses to “Fizzer”

  1. ken n Says:

    Yep, that must be a first. I once say someone in about the fifth row of a concert with singers swigging from a bottle (water I am sure) frequently. I know enough about singers to know how this would have irritated them.

  2. Houghhough « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] felt ahead on the Monday concert even before I went because I had secured my ticket as part of an irresistible special deal. The program was also bold, with a coherent theme which made sense. SH introduced it as being about […]

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