By Jasper Rees
within the days prior to his 40th birthday, London-based journalist Jasper Rees trades his pen for a French horn that has been accumulating airborne dirt and dust within the attic for greater than twenty-two years, and, on a lark, performs it on the annual competition of the British Horn Society.
regardless of an embarrassingly terrible functionality, the event evokes Rees to embark on a frightening, strange, and finally successful trip: to come to the pageant in a single year's time and play a Mozart concertoвЂ”soloвЂ”to a wide paying viewers.
A satan to Play is the genuine tale of an not going midlife drawback spent conquering 16 ft of wrapped brass tubing largely considered as the main tricky device to grasp, in addition to the main treacherous to play in public. it's the historical past of man's first musical device, a compelling trip that strikes from the partitions of Jericho to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts membership Band , from the looking fields of France to the guts of Hollywood. And it's the account of 1 man's mounting musical obsession, instructed with pitch-perfect wit and an indisputable charmвЂ”an endearing, inspiring story of perseverance and fulfillment, relayed masterfully, one side-splittingly off-key be aware at a time.
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Extra resources for A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument
I felt a shallowness in my chest and a tremor in my right knee. This was my introduction to performance anxiety. I was scandalized, even revolted, by the fact that nerves could not be controlled. “Abide with Me” is known the length and breadth of England as a footballing hymn. It has been sung at the FA Cup Final more 52 JASPER REES or less since footballs were made of pig bladders. Being an obsessive football fan, there was nothing I didn’t know about football. Absolutely nothing. ” The problem was that the FA Cup Final was always on a Saturday, and we spent weekends in Sussex, and we didn’t have a television there, so despite being an obsessive football fan, I’d never actually seen the Cup Final.
Bollocks to that. You don’t need to warm up. It’s in two-four, so one two one two. ” In the background, the string quartet kicks into a bouncy intro. And Dave starts counting. Counting down. There is no going back. Conditions for a successful performance could not be more favorable. It’s only a short piece, maybe a minute. It sits bang in the middle of the range. I played most of these notes in my first ever lesson three decades earlier. There can’t be more than sixty notes to play in all, a lot of them the same.
CHAPTER 2 THE IPSO FACTOR The call to war resounded from the winding horn —Seneca, Oedipus he last strains of “Old McDonald’s Farm” die away, along with its testing sequence of quavers and semi-quavers. I reckon I have the basics licked now. It’s time to raise the bar, and the means are to hand. In my horn case, alongside the Josef Lídl student horn and A Tune a Day, I have for twenty-two years kept my own personal copies, with piano accompaniment and separate solo part, of the four horn concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
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