12/01/06 Practice

I hope I'm not overdoing it. I practiced for about 110 minutes tonight. I'm so very tired, but I want to post a quick report while everything is still fresh in my mind.

The second-to last measure of the fugue is perhaps the most difficult complex single measure I've ever played. Deborah said to spend "about 10 minutes" learning each measure. Um, Deborah? This one took me thirty minutes. Okay, thirty-five.

If there's any one thing I've learned as a pianist, it's HUMILITY.

I spent the bulk of tonight's practice on the Fugue. The last line (final three measures) is a toughie complex bit of music, but I finally managed it. Each new set of rhythms was a challenge. I felt disoriented each time I started a new rhythm. Completely disoriented. Thinking, "What is this piece? Am I in the right fugue? Is this the music I thought was so familiar, once upon a time?"

Once I got that last line, I realized something: I now only have a page and a half left of the fugue. Once I learn that page and a half, I'll be able to play the whole thing, HT! After ONLY FIVE MONTHS! And maybe I'll be able to play it at tempo in JUST FIVE MORE MONTHS!

OK. So maybe I would have learned it faster if I'd practiced more diligently, instead of the fits and starts of the last few months. But still. This piece has been a bear very complex. A very friendly, fuzzy-wuzzy bear. Heh. Who am I kidding?

I worked on the Prelude for maybe 20 minutes. The final few measures are sounding quite good. I played through the whole thing VERY slowly, with the metronome. Then I drilled a bit of the second page. Then I realized I have this piece in my hands. There are only a couple of spots now where I pause a bit and have to think about what I'm playing. Know what this means, folks? This means I'm going to be able to start working on tempo before long! (I think!)

I played the Liszt several times throughout the day, always thinking in terms of architecture and wholeness. It's been interesting. In a good way, I mean. This weekend, I really want to drill the quasi Violoncello section. It's technically the easiest, but it's also the least interesting section to me ... which means I don't try as hard when I play it. The result? Not only do I sound bored, but I miss notes I shouldn't miss. Lovely. I need to work on that.

I didn't do scales or aps or inversions or Suzuki. Didn't think about it. As usual, JSB hogged my practice session. So I'll start with something else tomorrow.

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