Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's so frustrating about this

I can hear how bad that recording from last weekend sounds, and I know that no matter what I do, I can't make the horns play the right notes, I can't keep the winds from playing sharp, and I can't do anything about a bass player coming in on a rest. I can ask the conductor to take my tempo, but he may or may not do so. It may sound better at the concert -- I hope so! -- but it may not. If I was playing this with the Boston Symphony with Seiji Ozawa conducting, even if I were not Yo Yo Ma, it would surely sound better.

I also can hear that I am not perfect, either, but the effect is synergistic. The piece starts too slow, so I can't control the bow as well. The winds blow a bunch of clams, so I lose my sense of the right pitch. And in the five minutes it takes to play it, by the time those things happen the piece is over.

This, in a nutshell, explains why I'm finding playing the piano more satisfying these days. One cello versus a whole orchestra is not a fair fight. Even though I'm not as good a pianist as I am a cellist, I have complete control over the results. The results may not be better, but that's another set of problems.

A friend of mine used to play in an amateur orchestra that regularly hired fairly big-name talent to solo with them. He said these people would come to the rehearsal and get this look on their faces: "Uh-oh, I practiced too much."

No comments: