I am long overdue for a piano update, am I not?
Does anyone even read this blog anymore?
Development season at my job is winding down, and support season has begun. Support season is more structured and less pressurized. So, while I have to be here at a certain time and take lunch at a certain time and take breaks at a certain time, I get to breathe a little easier while I’m actually at work.
The good thing about that required hour for lunch: take 15 minutes out for bathroom and transportation, and I get a good 45 minutes of quality piano time with Zan the Grand!
So … 45 minutes times 5, plus 2 to 4 hours on weekends equals … up to 465 minutes, or 7.75 hours a week, of practice time! I take what I can get, and I’m very happy with this arrangement.
OK, here’s that update I’ve been needing to post.
Bach C# Prelude & Fugue No. 3, WTC I: I’m very happy to report that I have “graduated” from these two, in that I’m no longer actively working on them for piano lessons. Of course, I’ve resolved to play them 3-5 times a day, every day, for the rest of my life so that I never lose them. I’ve been doing so for almost a month now, and can play the prelude and part of the fugue by memory (not just motion-memory; I’ve been actively working on memorizing it through the other avenues as well). It sounds good, if I may say so myself.
Liszt, Ständchen: Sad to say, I burned out on this one. I got so sick of it. The flame weakened, and practicing felt like resuscitation. How’s that for a bad mixed metaphor? (My creative writing skills have been temporarily taken hostage by my tech writing job.) Franzi and I talked about it, and Deborah and I talked about it, and George and I talked about it, and we all agreed that it was time to put this one to bed for a while. So to bed it went.
Schumann, The Elf: Deborah gets all happy when I play this one. She says it sounds like a professional recording. She sure knows how to shell out the compliments. I haven’t gotten the “professional recording” remark since I did the Bach A-minor invention. I’m playing it as part of my warm-up routine now and will play it for the February performance class if I’m able to go.
Now, for the new pieces … !
Bach, P&F in Bb-major from WTC 1: I’ve written in all of the fingering and am currently just playing with it, mentally and otherwise—working out separate-hands fingerings, analyzing the sections, thinking about how the voices are intertwining, etc. It’s kind of like being in that first phase of being in love—you’ve just met the guy, and now you’re getting to know him better, and everything but everything about him seems to offer something to love. Yep, that’s where I am with the Bb P&F right now.
Shostakovich, Dance of the Dolls, I: Lyric Waltz: There are seven short pieces in “Dance of the Dolls” suite, and I’m starting with number one—not because it’s number one, but because it’s lyrical and Deborah wanted me to have something lyrical and songlike. As with the P&F, I’m currently in the process of figuring out fingering (no small task—I have pathetically little confidence in my ability to do that) and getting a feel for the piece.
Beethoven, Bagatelle in C Major, Op. 119, No. 2 (I think I have those numbers right): Did someone say lyrical and songlike? I want to work on a Beethoven piece, and I wanted something short and not incredibly hard. I haven’t started on the fingering for this one yet, but will probably do so this week.
I’ll write my practice update in a separate post, just so I can say I posted twice in one day. Stay tuned!