Tag Archives: Tuscany

Syrinx Journey Day 7: Field in Tuscany; Twilight

We pulled over in a field about 20 minutes outside of Siena, not wanting to lose the light. It was twilight and very peaceful: evening birdsong, the smell of freshly cut hay and grass, a gentle breeze. I was standing in the mushy earth tracks made by tractor treads, facing a tractor and barns across a small road. I was thinking about the performance tradition of playing Syrinx in a darkened room. I have often had the lights dimmed for this piece at recitals. I smiled to myself thinking that this time, the lighting had been most marvelously adjusted for me in nature. The hush of evening inspired me to play quite intimately and softly in the soft parts, though I did well up with some anguish in the climactic phrases.

The setting

Day 4: Sant’Anna in Camprena, Italy

This 16th-century Tuscan church has unusually reverberent acoustics. Each note awakened a powerful echo with a long decay, so that Debussy’s sinuous lines became harmonized sonorities. It was really surprising to experience this effect while playing!

An interesting note: part of the film The English Patient was filmed here.

My thanks to Stefano at Sant’Anna in Camprena for allowing me to play in this wonderful and historic space.