Last night was one of the most rewarding and exhausting musical performances I have ever been a past of. It was the last performance of the festival, and I had the privilege of playing in the Beach piano quintet and Brahms A Major piano quartet, which added up to 2/3s of the concert and about 90 minutes of music.
I don't think I can properly describe the experience of performing the Brahms. Exhilarating, exhausting, beautiful... Those words don't do it justice. It was one of those performances that I'll never forget.
First of all, I absolutely loved my group. We played well together and got along really well. As we were talking with each other about the performance afterwards, we agreed that we fed off of each other's energy well- everyone was totally engaged the entire time.
To give an idea of the length of the piece, the first movement of the piece is about 16 minutes, the 2nd is around 13 mins, the 3rd is 10 or so, and the 4th is 11.
There is something very unique about performing chamber music like that. It demands so much energy and focus for the entire time. It also requires 100% commitment from every member of the group, and it's amazing to see what can happen in a performance when everyone just throws every part of themselves into the music.
Afterwards, Brianna, Susanna, and I couldn't form complete words, let alone complete sentences. I haven't been so exhausted in a very long time. It took us probably about an hour to feel the energy returning, but we were a good kind of exhausted. I think I'm still on a musical high, because I can't think of any other way to describe this feeling.
I'm so grateful to have been here, to have done this. It's easy to take the ability to play music for granted, but last night reminded me why music is such a beautiful, unique gift.