Friday, March 17, 2006

The Latest on Piano

I meant to post a piano update earlier this week, but I've been to tired to post much of anything. On Wednesday, I had my first piano lessons in several weeks. I hadn't practiced this past week, but I'd practiced a lot the two weeks before, so it was still a better lesson than usual. I'm just about finished with the B-minor sinfonia; Deborah's instructions there are to "keep drilling, and drilling, and drilling ..." I've been drilling my fingers off and can play the piece smoothly and musically at 76 on the metronome. The suggested tempo in the Alfred edition is something like 96, but I've heard several recordings at slower tempos and think I like the slower tempo better. Still, I think I want to speed up my version just a bit more.

We spent most of the hour on the C#-major P&F. Okay, the F(ugue). This is my first WTC fugue, and as much as I've read about fugues and counterpoint, actually learning a fugue is a whole new ballgame. I love it, though, and I think my love for the piece is going to motivate me past the frustrations involved in learning it. There will be frustrations ... I love learning, and I love challenges, but I think there will definitely be frustrations. My left hand is overly dependent on my right hand, and learning this fugue will mean cutting a few purse strings. Forcing the left-hand baby bird out of the nest. Pushing the left hand out into the cold, cruel world to make it on its own. How many metaphors can I think of for this?

For the Liszt, she said my fingering so far is pretty good, but made some suggestions about playing my left hand over my right hand instead of right over left. (The hands are sometimes sandwiched (handwiched) over each other, and the fingers run the risk of ending up in a bony, fleshy Gordian knot.)

My assignments for next week:

- Keep drilling the B-minor sinfonia
- Practice the Prelude hands-separately
- Finish the basic analysis and write in the fingering for the Fugue
- Finish writing in the fingering for the Liszt

So, the main playing I'll do will be on the sinfonia and the prelude. I'm still doing pre-piano work, mostly, for the fugue and the Liszt. Good thing, because I don't have time to practice four pieces (boo hoo).

I noticed something weird. I think of myself as a "piano student," and Deborah refers to me as a "pianist" or even a "very talented pianist." When I refer to myself as a "pianist," I feel like I'm being presumptuous. Strange.

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