To Benalla today in preparation for tomorrow’s recital. The invitation to perform in the concert series there came with a repertoire suggestion – Percy Grainger’s Zanzibar Boat-Song. Since it’s the fiftieth anniversary of Melbourne-born Grainger’s death, I’m delighted to include it, along with Grainger’s Irish Tune from County Derry, arranged for piano by Siloti, who was a pupil of – Liszt. Also on the programme are pieces by Liszt, his contemporaries Chopin, Mendelssohn and Alkan, and Hewitt Jones.
A gently lilting piece, the Boat-Song was inspired by a poem of Rudyard Kipling’s:
‘They burnt a corpse upon the sand – The light shone out afar; It guided home the plunging boats that beat from Zanzibar…’
And it’s for six hands at one piano, so I’ll be joined by my husband who is travelling with me, and by Dobbs Franks. It should be fun – do join us in Benalla to witness this thirty-fingered phenomenon!