Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What I'm playing this week

I'm feeling really burned out this week, so I'm not pushing myself to do that much practicing.

On the piano

Brahms Op. 118 No. 2, for the master class on April 18: I'm working on solidifying memory and trying to establish a tempo and pulse. One thing I can't stand when listening to other people play this piece is when they use excessive rubato. What I mean by "excessive" is stretching all the eighth notes in the accompaniment every single time. It's like underlining everything in the book. I think the pulse should remain fairly consistent. The 3/4 time in this piece connotes a dancelike feeling, too slow for a waltz, but perhaps almost a minuet -- or a waltz in a dream. There should be rubato, of course, but it should be used judiciously or it dilutes the effect.

Beethoven Sonata Op. No. 3: I decided to just plunge in and start learning this. It's a nice change from the pieces I've been playing: it's bold and energetic with a classical sensibility (but unmistakably Beethoven) and long. I figure at the very least it's a good technical study for me.

Bach Prelude and Fugue, WTC II/3: I'm still hoping to record this before I begin another set. I listened to a few recordings and realized that I have been really punching it out; a gentler approach sounds much better. So I'm changing it, taking slower tempos and trying for a more rounded, mellow sound.

On the cello

I'm giving the cello another rest. I may play a bit to see if it sounds any better after being humidified with a Dampit. The air has been especially dry all week.

Every time I start feeling depressed, or squirrely, or as if life maybe isn't worthwhile, my husband says, "It's the cello." I do seem to have a love/hate relationship with it, for lots of complicated reasons. I always feel better if I just step away from it for a while.

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