Stephen Kovacevich at Elder Hall
Stephen Kovacevich at Elder Hall for the International Piano Series
The evening begins with socks – Piano socks of course
The venue demanded my attention as the timber swirls down the tops of the pipes from the organ – in a gesture of modesty in its ostentatiousness.
The onyx black piano is quietly escorted by the matching small – somewhat inconsequential if only for its cushion top, prayer stool.
A quiet accompaniment of two black vases either side chocked full of large ambiguous floral art.
I subconsciously notice a ‘Spare’ Piano, also midnight black, in the corner almost vaguely reflecting the soulful timber floor beneath it.
‘We’re On’, for me a fitting cry to the commencement of what, to me, is a world unknown. Special thanks to Mr Legh Davis from Morgans Unley and the promotion of the next event to be held in the Space theatre in a few months. Some other niceties such as Stephen Kovacevich’s most recent achievements and remembering the last time his presents graced our humble city in 2012.
And so it begins. Lights…
Bach: Partita No.4
He positions himself in a low squat at the behemoth before him and then proceeds to entice life.
The opening is like being inside magic to me.
Not being a cultured person, or should I say being ignorant of such experiences, I find my internal bodies delighted at the sounds which somehow are not heard – but felt.
‘There is a Breeze on me!’ his natural unpretentious reaction articulates the unrivalled devotion and focus required for such a task and then without a word he gracefully takes flight. Again.
As he plays the music rises from within my stomach and tingles the whole journey of my spine. Only to exit through what feels like every pour of my skin.
The majesty of a sunrise, experienced, speaks more than the trapped image of it in a photo – this too is true of this music. It has to be experienced to be truly absorbed.
The photo and the soundtrack can leave you hollow and hungry, upon the memory of the feast of the sounds at hand.
A young man, barely 14, sits with his hand clenched together as he openly revels in the spectacle of sound. (I later availed myself to know him, his name is Jonte)
SK is no show pony, however the talent is clear as it oozes involuntary from his hands and inner most parts. He removes his liquid effort from his face in between floating clouds of Joy, Love and Heart break.
I am moved.
My throat chokes up and my eyes well as I beat back the stinging grief in sound. ‘But its just music – it doesn’t even have words!’ I scold myself.
And now the scene changes to drama and epic success all the whilst the playful notes scally wag in the firmament.
This was my introduction to Bach and his Partita No.4
After a brief sip of his tea, well I presume it is tea in the great grey mug. He returns to his pue – abreast for celestial music.
Now SK brings Beethoven to us. Mr Beethoven and the Sonata OP.109 – I’ve never met a Sonata in person before.
This music lives a life of ecstasy and vision with graceful intent, only those of natural souls could possible appreciate. It is raw and honest.
Is it a story of love crossed lives?
A battle to be seen and appreciated?
Or… is it simply the breeze in poplar trees?
I believe it is water and willow trees … blue wrens. Tranquillity shattered. Picnickers arrive. And Oh how happy and coy they carousal.
The night comes and the stars peak out from behind the day as it departs.
Kovacevich, Closes his eyes, focused on contain his mortal soul as it departs.
This mortal being.
…the night gives rest.
And so it rises the, the dawn breaks and life begins again. Music lives.
There they are again, those playful scally wag notes.
The couple to my right embrace hands as they flutter on teach note as it rises and falls, epically elegant. Are their souls merging, entwined in each other, one, as they share the encounter? I am embarrassed, flushing fills my cheeks, and yet, I am compelled to watch such euphoria.
Ode to Epic.
An Intermission. Where class evaporates and equality of experience shared is the known.
Schubert: Sonata in B flat major, D960
Softly – Softly to begin, it is almost more mature this Sonata, than its co-horts tonight.
Like a well-travelled entrepreneur. Refined in his taste, characterised by Common Sense. However, not void of soul or depth, from life’s experiences.
Of the Master Mentoring Class delivered just days before to Marryatville apprentices, he, SK now delivers to their aspirations.
The lullaby plays held in the arms of Common Sense. As I allow this sonnet to wash over me, I am reticent to acknowledge the grace implied to the listener.
A scowl appears to come over Mr Kovacevich, as the Common Sense delves deep into the experiences the world has offered. Now we share, with Common Sense the reality of returning to home, the cost loves and mortal wounds.
The girl in the green embroidered suit coat 2 seats to my left, is so involved in this journey of Common Sense and its triumph over sentimentality. (At the evenings close I met this extraordinary young girl, her name is Emily)
My heart begins to pound beyond my rib cage as I long to see Common Sense embrace Frivolity and the Scally Wag notes.
Tell me, who are we, to know Common Sense, as SK nods his head in surreptitious agreement that life should be taken in a stride relative to the path one travels.
…Resigned to be, in this moment.
Frivolity is that you? I am secretly delighted this sonata flirts with Common Sense. Electricity swirls at the nape of my neck as sonata floats and lifts Common Sense. Again, the sensuality of seemly two sprits merging. And the combination is palatable.
…. A Feast of Frivolity and Common Sense.
… A celestial countenance comes upon them both.
This merging elicits dance moves from this puppeteers (SK) being.
Has Frivolity reached maturity?
…I know this not.
The End has come. The bull pit rows a thump as the audience compels the ovation.
…a retrospective of reflection…
…oh Sweet Lullaby
It is somewhat astonishing to me at the diversity of attendees. No openly set criteria of social or economical pre-disposition. The somewhat softly spoken Stephen was to this musical Novice, an auditory delight to behold.
“… Directly from the heart. Incomparable.” Why yes, I concur.
University of Dead Arts is dedicated to those who seek the past in the present to share with the future.