Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Short Handelian Anecdote

It is good policy for a singer to keep ‘on the good side of’ his accompanist. A really fine accompanist is a ‘rara avis’. Besides the technical skill necessary to a soloist, an accompanist must have the finest musical feeling and discrimination, and at the same time sacrifice himself to the interests of the singer.
And oftentimes the accompanist has to shoulder the sins of the singer. It is an easy way to relieve one's self from the blame of a ‘bad break’ by charging the fault to the accompanist. A singer once tried this with Handel, and declared that if Handel didn't accompany him better he should jump over onto the harpsichord where the player sat, and smash it. Said Handel: "Let me know ven you vill do dot, and I vill adverdise id. I am sure more beoble will come to see you shump as vill come to hear you sing."
The singer didn't jump.

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