I had a very scary evening last night
It was the end of term concert with the community orchestra, so as you'd expect, I was playing cello.... cue conversations of about 4 weeks ago:
#1: "TV you play viol don't you?"
TV (warily): "Yes...."
#1: "XXX and I would like to play some recorder pieces but we haven't got anyone on the tenor line - would you play with us?"
TV (worriedly) "Hmmm... can I see the music please?"
Get presented with several pieces by Handel in three parts, but arranged for recorder. Sits very badly on the viol - awful lot of multiple string crossings (adjacent notes three strings apart etc). Not wanting to let people down, I agreed we'd give it a whirl.....
#2: "TV - you're a singer aren't you?"
TV (in horror) "Choral singer yes, I don't sing solo - never done it and lack the confidence to do it (even though I can sight read quite proficiently to a decent standard and I can sing pretty tough repertoire - BUT at more than 1 to a part!)
#2: (persistently) "Oh good - I've written this song and I want you to sing it with me... someone is arranging it for me and there will be a violin part as well. We'll get together next week to look at it..."
Although the recorder music is fairly straightforward, it's not written for the tenor viol (should be in alto clef) and was quite difficult. So, I had a big think about it and worked out it would sit better on the BASS viol
- the E string making life much easier than the F string on the tenor. So we had a trio of descant and treble recorder with bass viol, playing the tenor recorder line (reading treble clef and transposing down an octave at sight). First two pieces went very well, third was fine from the recorders.... The audience seemed to like it - they loved the sound of the bass viol and the recorders.
That was my first ever public outing on the viol - of any size!
So, I was brow-beaten into singing. This really did scare me! The tessitura was wrong for my voice - I'm a baritone. The range of the piece (being folk-style) was narrow, the fifth from A - E (A at top of bass clef). These notes are in my compass and I'll happily punch holes in wood with top Ds. But I'm not a tenor and sitting up there is tiring....
So, lady playing guitar and singing alto, me baritone pretending to be a tenor, and a solo violin line too. I was shaking like a leaf at times - I've never sung solo - ever. Audience seemed to like it.
Oh - there was the little matter of playing cello for an hour - last movement of Beethoven 5, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue - minor things like that!