Oh, the agony. Woe is me. I'm a wretched soul today, I am. Deborah is sick and called an hour before my lesson to cancel/reschedule. I am dying of grief. No piano today. Waaaaaaah.
Okay, so it's not that bad. But I must admit that I'm disappointed. I had a great practice this morning. Wanna hear about it? I thought so!
LISZT: The Liszt, as I've written previously, is sounding good. At my last lesson, Deborah said that it's now time for me to start thinking about it on a grander level--as a whole piece, and not as a bunch of beautiful little sections connected to each other. She suggested listening to recordings by professional pianists, so that's what I did this week. Really listened to them--not just to say "I like the Horowitz better than the Yablonskaya," but to really get an idea of how they interpret the piece as a whole.
I didn't practice the Liszt as much as I "lisztened" to recordings, heh heh. So this morning, I sat down to play it ... and, oh my goodness. It sounded so clean. It's so easy to sound muddy when playing Liszt, and it didn't sound muddy. I had worked on the pedaling some this week, and I found that I was using the pedal less in some spots--even though I didn't technically need to--because it sounded cleaner. Oh, my. And I was playing the left hand much more softly and letting the melody in the right hand sing out, and it sounded so much better. So I played along with the Horowitz recording (not exactly ... just listened and imitated some of the things that he does that I've admired). And then I played in on my own, including the "Horowitz touches" that I liked but retaining the "Waterfall touches" that work for me. Ah. I love this piece so much.
BACH: I've been working on the C#-major Prelude more than the fugue this week. We have group piano in three weeks, and I want to play the prelude and the Liszt, and I want them both to sound good. So I drilled a section of the prelude, one little section, for about a half hour. I did some brain work--"How does this work theoretically? How does it make sense?"--but the brain work actually made it harder. So I did gesture work, chord-blocking work, and endless repetition work. By the time I finished all that, I was starting to feel some confidence with that one little section. I really want to memorize this piece. It's going to be so much easier once I'm no longer depending on the music (and I can pretend, when convenient, that I'm in D-flat instead of C-sharp).
SCALES AND ARPEGGIOS: Lovely, dahling. They're sounding just lovely.
So I'm sad that my lesson was cancelled. I hope Deborah feels better. Meanwhile, I'll get back to practicing.