Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Despite the compliments from my friends I described in my previous post, I feel so unsatisfied with the Tchaikovsky. Perhaps it's one of those situations where the closer you get to the ideal, the farther away it seems; smaller and smaller problems grow bigger and bigger by comparison. Considering that when I started working on this in January I couldn't play it, and now I can, apparently something has been happening. But every day when I put my cello away after an hour or so of practicing it, I wonder if I am spending the time wisely. Every day that goes by feels like leap of faith that I am.

The fact that the piece is only 7 minutes long almost makes it more difficult, more like an etude, where every note is a test and each stands out. Okay, I have heard some sloppy awful performances of this from good cellists who probably barely practiced it, or maybe they did but tossed it off as bon bon to lighten a longer program. I heard one extremely talented and well-known person play it on a recital and have a major crash (he either looped back or jumped ahead to the wrong place at one point where there is a pattern repetition -- IIRC, the pianist managed to limp along after him and they kept going without having to start over). But because this is all I'm playing, it is important to me to make it better than that. At the same time, I don't want to make too much of it because that's not the spirit of the thing.

I have about a month now until the first rehearsal with the orchestra. I console myself with the fact that I will still have several weeks after that to fix anything really glaringly bad.

Yay for positive affirmations!

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