Shoot me now, begs the pianist

Shoot me now, begs the pianist


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2014

violin fail


  • Anonymous says:

    Poor kid and poor pianist…

  • mr oakmount says:

    Surely he was not playing with a pianist, but to a playback track that went wrong. He may not even have heard the track because of a monitor speaker/headphone failure. The guys in the studio probably said “go” and the violinist thought he was playing without the backing track. Any real-life pianist would have sided with the soloist he was supposed to accompany.

    Anyway, I’m not the greatest fan of posting such “fails” for cheap laughs. Things like these have happened to many great, good or at least (in my case) useful musicians before: A gig where no-one warned you that the organ was going to be a semitone flat and you had to play Vivaldi’s C-major concerto in B instead. A clarinet player who out of stage nerves failed to realise he was still holding the A-Clarinet instead of the Bb model, … Yes. Hilariously funny to those who only play the CD player or youtube.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      Quote: “Any real-life pianist would have sided with the soloist he was supposed to accompany.” I was never always lucky. One pianist lost a measure and expected me, the singer, to find out where SHE was. The same lady insisted upon banging out chords so as to “keep in time” whereas I told her to stop that and observe rules of metre and harmonic rhythm. Another nutto stopped right in the middle of an organ accompaniment after he played a horrible chord.
      Narcissistic accompanists have to be avoided in all cases. They cannot or will not follow anyone.

    • Charles L. says:

      Well said, Mr. Oakmount!

      And I think you’re right — this probably was a pre-recorded track, since there’s no pianist to be seen. It would also explain why the violinist seemed oblivious to the problem, and why the track just fades out instead of adjusting to fix the performance.

      As an actor on stage I’ve had this happen to me — the wrong track began playing and I had to improvise my way out of it, saying something like “I seem to be at a loss for words…. it’s at the tip of my tongue…” Then they played another wrong track (“nope, that’s not what I was thinking…”) before finally getting the right one.

  • M2N2K says:

    Reminds me of an old joke.
    The accompanist: “Do you have any suggestions for me for this evening’s performance?”
    The soloist: “Actually I do. Tonight please play the intro a tone higher than printed, then skip a measure, then switch to a tone below the print, then play measure at double speed, then slow down to half-speed, then repeat the same measure four times, then skip a page to the coda, and finally end everything a beat later than printed.”
    The accompanist: “That’s so much to remember, I’d have to practice a lot to do all that!”
    The soloist: “Why, you did exactly that very easily at our performance last night!”