Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Page Turner:

Green Room Snap Cooney & Collins 
Stunning virtuosity was on display at City Hall last night as Waterford Music opened their 74th season. Elizabeth Cooney violinist partnered by Finghin Collins were a wow at a buzzy gala occasion. Opening with  a brilliant Grand Duo by Schubert, they shimmered in otherworldy Szymanowski and calmed with the soothing elegance of Elgar and Faure. But enough about the dazzling duo. Today's post is all about me. Last night was a debut of sorts for me as I stepped in to take on that role I have been carefully avoiding for years and one  that very musicians covet- the page turner. Finghin Collins made it as easy as it could be with clearly pencilled in notes as to repeats and a clear nod when the moment apparoached. On the whole it was a thrilling experience to see at close range the notes on the page magically transferred to sonority. Should the job ever come your way here are Jessica Duchen's dos and don'ts of page turning from an article in Standpoint Magazine Just for a giggle,  a video clip of Victor Borge's encounter with a
page turner.


1. Check with the pianist in advance which repeats s/he is doing, if any, and exactly how they work.

2. Dog-ear the top right hand corner of each page for easy grabbing.

3. Make sure you've got something to sit on and can see the music clearly.

4. Remember that a lot of pianists read ahead so may need the page turned several bars before reaching its apparent end.

5. Agree with the pianist what signal s/he will give to alert you that it's time to turn.


1. Wear anything intrusive: plunging necklines, dangly necklaces or ties, long floppy sleeves and bright colours are real no-nos and could distract in a variety of ways. (Of course some pianists might enjoy the plunging neckline, but that leads to a whole different set of problems.)

2. Obscure the music from the pianist's view with your arm while preparing to turn.

3. Simply smile sweetly back when the pianist smiles sweetly at you. He's probably indicating that if you don't turn that page NOW, he will put you through the mincer.

4. Eat anything containing garlic before the concert.

5. Take a bow

Extract from article by Jessica Duchen

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