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Her cup runneth over

Remember that iPod Touch that I confessed to stealing from my husband? Well, now that I’m back in the swing of things, I barely get time to listen to it…and in any case, I’ve been listening to Murray Perahia practising in my living room for the past few days. Murray and I have exchanged quite a few stories (I told him he should write a book when he retires) and one of the items of conversation that came up was concerts in Italy. So, I told him the story of an Italian pianist who played on our series a number of years ago. She is one of my favourites and I loaded this iPod with her recording of Scarlatti Sonatas, which is think is one of the very best. If you know your Scarlatti, you may know whom I’m talking about!  In any case, she performed on our series at the Vancouver Playhouse, and she insisted on being paid in cash at intermission.  This was generally the custom in the country from which she originated.

It was not an insignificant amount of cash, and I asked her manager from Columbia Artists, who was traveling with her, to come with me to the bank to collect the cash. At intermission, both of us went backstage at the Playhouse to deliver the money.  I told her that I was very nervous about giving her the money, because even though we could lock the door to her dressing room, I felt that it still wasn’t safe to leave cash like that lying around.  “Oh no”, she said “you don’t understand!”  Pulling open the front of her blouse, she stuffed the money in her bra and played the second half of the concert with the money on her person, as it were.

10 thoughts on “Her cup runneth over

  1. I loved the Scarlatti played by Yevgeny Sudbin in the spring. After some digging I was about to purchase some more Scarlatti by Trevor Pinnock, but your post suggests I should be considering other options? (I already own a couple of Scarlatti recorded by Glenn Gould, but am not sure if that counts). At any rate, if there is a artist I should consider, please let me know.

    • I don’t know, Ian, whether your question is just a ‘sneaky’ way of trying to find out who put the money in her bra, or whether it’s a genuine question! So, in a spirit of co-operation I am happy to tell you that if you wish to acquaint yourself with the recording in question, you will find it at:
      EMI Records #7243 57496926
      You can let me know if you enjoy the recording…but don’t let anyone else in on the secret!

  2. Great story, Leila. I love these vignettes of the customs and habits of people from other countries. They expand our view of the world and help us realize our way of doing things is not the only way.

    I’ll look forward to reading more such delightful stories.


    • How comforting to know that you’re reading my blog regularly! At least I know that I can rely upon you to tell me when I’m becoming a bore!!

  3. This is also a reply to Ian. I think Leila must be talking about Maria Tipo, a truly great pianist. Her Bach Partitas are also wonderful!
    And I would like to ask Leila if it would be possible to name the encores Murray Perahia played. (I know more or less what they were, but am not completely sure.) And if it would be possible to do this with other concerts in the future. It would be greatly appreciated!

  4. wonderful story leila! thanks for sharing. that totally just made my day and a nice a way to end my day as i retire for the night.
    it was such a treat attending perhaia’s concert at the chan back on oct 4th. all of my students that i brought with me were totally thrilled with his playing and his humble, easy-going manner as we chatted with him backstage. thank you for bringing him to vancouver!

  5. Thanks so much, Leila, for such a great story about Marie Tipo. I have her Scarlatti album and it is amazing. Your stories about the artists is what initially got me hooked on the pre-concert talks. While you no longer do that at the pre-concert talks, it’s nice to be able to find them on the blog. I find I always gt more out of the concert when I attend the pre-concert talk.

    I hope you’ll be able to post information about encores after each concert. There is nothing more frustrating than having the performer either not announce the encore or announce it so quietly and quickly it is impossible to hear was is said. It will be great to be able to look it up after the event on your website.

  6. This is the first “blog” I’ve ever read….wow! I’ve been missing some major fun. Thank you for now posting the names of encores. It’s a contest to see if me or my friends can name them correctly, so it will be great to have the answers. Thanks for all you do Leila, you enrich our lives with your great choice of artists.

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