Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What I'm playing this week

On the cello:

Dvorak Silent Woods: Yesterday, I tried playing it in D major instead of D-flat. Ah! So easy. Dvorak could have saved everyone a lot of trouble if he'd transposed it officially. Yet the five flats do give it a more mysterious, covered sound (and more mysterious intonation to match).

I'm hoping that my continued feeling of uncertainty about intonation and rhythm is just a sign that my awareness is heightened and it's actually improving.

Popper: High School of Cello Playing, Nos. 35 and 39; also doing a bit of No. 13 (an almost Paganini-level etude full of octaves in thumb position; at one time in my life I was practicing this one every day).

Bach: The three-flat suites, especially No. 4 in E flat.

For all of this, I keep the tuner on and study it while I'm playing to see the tendency of each note.

On the piano:

Bach Prelude and Fugue in C minor from WTCII. These are coming along, a little better than last week.

Gershwin Preludes: ditto.

Brahms Op. 118: I realized that what I really need to do here is practice very slowly with the metronome. Much more enjoyable than stumbling through faster.

Chopin: Nocturne Op. 62 No. 2: am continuing to do a bit of work on this; also Prelude No. 8.

I had a snow day yesterday, so I was able to practice quite a bit. I spent about 2 hours or so on the cello and at least that much time on the piano as well. For some reason, though, my hands wouldn't get warm, and my fingertips were hurting. Suffering for art . . .

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