Friday, March 24, 2006

George, a Day Off, and The Recital That Never Happened

George's piano tuner, Gary, is supposed to come visit tomorrow and fix ol' George up good as new. Last year, we had major snowstorms on the two days that he was supposed to come, and we had to postpone and reschedule twice.

Is it mere coincidence that, even though I made the appointment on a sunny, 68-degree day in mid-March, we have snow and ice the day before Gary is supposed to be here? And that snow flurries are expected tonight? I wonder ...

I didn't go to school today, and I truly hope my students, who are pretty well-behaved for me, didn't torment the poor substitute too much. I am recovering from several things--a stomach virus that seems to be making its rounds among the faculty, a state of insomnia-induced fatigue that has lasted since early February, and the state of severe depression that has been my on-and-off life companion for the past 20 years. I doubt that I'll recover from everything over a couple of days, but I must admit that the quiet and solitude of today have been nice.

I spent the morning planning school-related things, and I'll be working with George for the rest of the day until Hubster comes home. My points of focus for this week are to be the C#-major fugue and the Liszt. I'll be playing the B-minor sinfonia at the group class on Friday, and I expect that I'll "graduate" from that piece at that time. I hate "graduating" from pieces, but it is definitely time to move on to other things.

After piano on Wednesday, Deborah and I went out to dinner and had a wonderful couple of hours catching each other up on our lives and talking about music. She's planning a program that features South American composers, and she's pretty excited about that. We also talked about my upcoming recital.

I think I'm going to call it something weird and Waterfallish, like "15 Years Later: The Recital That Never Happened." That is a reference to my senior recital in college, which never happened because I ... well, it's a long story. But I basically had to withdraw from all my classes and never got to do the recital. Ever since then, I've thought, "You know, I really should do a recital someday. To make up for the one I missed."

So yeah, I kind of have something to prove to myself. And that "something" will be 15 Years Later: The Recital That Never Happened.

It will probably be in the fall of 2007, which gives me about 18 months to prepare and two full summers for intense practice. I fully expect life to be easier during Year Two of teaching, so I hope to have more practice time next year than I do now. Below are the pieces we're thinking about including. It's no mistake that they are typical pieces one might play for an audition for music school, since, when I was in college, I seriously thought for a couple of years about studying at a conservatory after getting my B.A. (I was so naïve ... I'm not sure how I expected to afford such a thing!). Anyway, here are the potential pieces for 15 Years Later: The Recital That Never Happened:

1. Bach, C#-major Prelude and Fugue from WTC 1
2. Something classical but not huge like a sonata ... maybe some Bagatelles by Beethoven*
3. Liszt, Two Song Transcriptions (one will be "Ständchen"; we haven't decided on the other one)
4. Chopin, Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major
5. Something else that is either romantic or classical, and not too big, and that will wake folks up after the langorous Liszt and Chopin
6. Something 20th century that will really wake them up if the previous piece didn't do the job

None of them are virtuoso-style pieces, but then again, I'm not a virtuoso pianist. Maybe someday ...

Enough rambling about piano. Time to go practice.

*Deborah recommended against doing a sonata because it would be a lot to accomplish, with my limited practice schedule, over 18 months. Yet, we still need something classical, so we're thinking of alternatives. I may end up doing a sonata after all, though; I've started numerous Beethoven and Mozart sonatas, but have never finished a one. It would be nice to learn one in completion, for once.

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