After a number of delays, I was at last able to give my first double-bass recital in over 25 years to a private audience of about 25-30 people this past Saturday night. Although there were a couple very obvious errors, and one memory lapse, much of the program was played either near or at concert level, and from the feedback received the spiritual intent of the recital was substantially achieved. It included works by Dittersdorf, Eccles, Pichl, Faure, Bloch, and Bruch, along with spirituals and hymns, plus one original prelude in a Gaelic style. About all I can say is that I am very grateful to God for it, as much of my playing of late has been at a very different level than it ever used to be.
It is clear that we are to continue, and my accompanist and I will hopefully be presenting a full public recital at our church, possibly sometime in late January, or early February, 2007. It is interesting, in that I resume this with reluctance - there were very valid reasons why I stopped attempting recitals over 25 years ago. Yet it is equally evident that God desires me to begin anew, and I am very curious (and a bit afraid, though in a good sense) as to where this path may lead.
Solo performance is never easy and any sense of accomplishment is well earned. Of course, things could always have gone better, but that just provides a target to strive towards.
Aside from thorough preparation and centering oneself to help fight any jitters, I find a genuine desire to entertain, move, and/or communicate with the members of the audience in a direct, personal way can go a long way towards feeling comfortable onstage. Sort of like: "Here's this piece of music I really like. Can I help you feel it the way I do?"
And I wouldn't sweat the bloopers. Unless one stops midstream and draws attention to mistakes verbally or facially, the great majority of the audience may well not notice. Although you know the peices well, unless the work is very, very, famous, any mistake may just sound like an "interesting suspension" or "novel cadence" to the listener.