ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 20 JANUARY 2013
I have played the Ballade only twice in public. One, to a small group of teachers and friends just so I had witnesses that I could sort of play it. And once again at the excellent Chipping Camden literary/music festival because my fellow piano camper, Charlie Bennett (who runs the music festival) asked me. That was pretty frightening.
But not as frightening as this week's launch for Play it Again, which included a visit to the BBC for a chat with Jon Sopel on BBC Global. Which, as the name suggests, is the BBC beaming to the rest of the world. When I pitched up they announced they had a small grand piano and might I play the Ballade live. To the whole world.
I mumbled something about a hand injury (I seem to have strained my interosseous muscles in my insane attempts to master the Ballade) to no avail. Useless to protest I haven't actually been working on the piece much recently.
"How much of it would you like?" I had in mind the first two (reasonably easy) pages.
"The whole thing," they replied, gesturing me to the piano stool and shoving an earpiuece to the studio in my ear.
And, without much more ado, I found myself broadcasting to the world.
Some minutes later @janinegibson, our US editor, tweeted: "Our editor, @arusbridger, just started playing Chopin on BBC World News. We're telling the interns this is normal at British newspapers."