Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What I'm playing this week

This has been a strange week. I've been off of work since noon on Friday because of our huge snow storm (about 30 inches of snow in our area), but have I been practicing a lot? Why, no. But I have been doing a bit.

On piano:

Bach WTC II No. 2 in C minor: I have both prelude and fugue memorized but can't play them through flawlessly, and I also am not sure about my interpretation. I had the idea that I would record them for posterity and move on to another set, but it bothers me to leave them in this half-done condition. I'd also like to at least be able to play them through for myself, if for no one else.

Chopin Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1: Memory is mostly back, and it does seem a lot easier than it did the first time I learned it (three years ago), but it's clunky and uneven and not polished at all. Sigh.

Brahms Op. 118: I'm continuing to practice Nos. 1 and 2. No. 2 is actually almost memorized and is getting a bit easier.

Beethoven Op. 2 No. 3: I started practicing this very slowly. Not sure why I picked one of the longest sonatas he wrote . . . but perhaps this will be a good endurance exercise. This is always an issue with me, though; when I choose pieces that are longer than about five minutes I tend to give up on them because I get frustrated. However, I did once learn an entire Mozart sonata (K. 310). I wish I had recorded all of it at the time instead of just the first movement. This was also about three years ago (seems to have been a productive piano year for me):

A classical-form sonata movement does have a great deal of repetition, even though it's in different keys, so it does tend to be easier terms of memorization than some other forms that are through-compose. So I'm not entirely without hope that I can do this project.

On the cello:

Not doing much, though I do have a couple of things coming up. One is an English country dance ball the first weekend in March. I was hired for this by one of the callers for the dance at Glen Echo. It will be a trio, fiddle, recorder, and cello. The event is part of a cultural enrichment program for high school students; they're going to have a workshop during the day and a ball in the evening. We're planning to have a rehearsal in two weeks (assuming we get a playlist by then), so I really need to practice just some general stuff (scales, etc.) so I don't sound like a fool.

Another event is that our little neighborhood group -- violin, recorder, guitar, cello -- is going to be playing for tips (for three hours!) at a café in May. We need to work out what we're going to play and any arrangements, so that will take some getting together and rehearsing. The last time we played anywhere was last August. Here's a sample from that event:

There are also two more orchestra concerts for the season, one in April, one in June.

In the meantime, more snow is expected tonight. I may have another day off tomorrow as well.

1 comment:

clp150 said...

I must say I wasn't expecting such a high level of musicianship from your "little neighborhood group". Very well done.