Monday, December 7, 2009

It's the rhythm, stupid!

This evening (after procrastinating all day) I recorded myself playing the Dvorak "Silent Wood" and then attempted to accompany myself on the piano while listening to the cello track on headphones. Tone and intonation weren't bad, but I could hear clearly that I need to keep a steady pulse throughout this piece and not use so much rubato.

Particularly irritating to me as an accompanist is that almost all the places where I as a cellist have been taking time -- stretching ends of phrases and so on -- are too much. That is, I as pianist need to stop in my tracks and wait for me as cellist to continue, obviously distorting the pulse. But then there's one place with a tricky shift that I have been rushing through every time.

In the middle section of the piece that is intended to be played at a slightly faster tempo, there are about a dozen measures that encompass an accelerando. I have been taking way too many liberties with this; it needs to be much steadier or the orchestra and I will never be together.

So the answer is lots and lots of metronome practice. And then next step, perhaps, will be recording the piano part and playing the cello along with that. I'm glad I have a month before the concert.

1 comment:

pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Isn't it funny that we rush through the tricky parts? You'd think we'd take more time, but that's just not how it usually goes.

Play on!