Practice for Monday, January 28, 2008

After Saturday’s (somewhat) disappointing lesson, I decided to try to spend a few minutes of this practice on each piece.

Scales and arps, blah, blah, blah. Sounding fine. Deborah said we could start doing scales in thirds if I want … I didn’t answer. I don’t know if my brain is ready for that yet.

Beethoven: This is a fun little piece. It’s an interesting little piece. I started working on it HS and made analysis notes as I played through it. It seems a little schizophrenic, yet it is utterly charming.

I once knew a guy named Kenny who was schizophrenic yet utterly charming. Maybe I’ll start calling this piece “Kenny”.

So Kenny (the Beethoven piece, not the person) and I were on something like the first blind date today. I’ve run through and written in all the fingering, sized him up so to speak, and now it’s time to get to know Kenny, to start getting a sense of how he feels in my hands.

OK, this is starting to sound R-rated. Suffice it to say that Kenny (the Beethoven piece, not the person) feels quite nice, thank you very much.

So, after a whopping 12 minutes of Kenny, I moved on to Shostakovich. Didn’t do anything particularly challenging—just played through the “A” section HS a few times, using the fingering that Deborah recommended, replaying/drilling any fingering that didn’t come “naturally”.

The Lyric Waltz has the typical “oom-pah-pah” in the bass, and Deborah has said to use a my “3” finger on the low notes instead of the “5”. I understand her point—using the “3” is more forceful and gives a greater sense of balance—but it feels weird. So I did some practicing of this, and it wasn’t long before it started to feel more natural.

I took a short interlude to run through Schumann, blocking the chords for "The Elf". I’m hitting all the notes, but she said I’ve lost some of the dynamics that I had earlier. So I just blocked the chords and trained my laser-sharp focus on dynamics.

Onward to Bach. Didn’t allow myself to touch C#. (Yes, it was tantalizing. But I yielded not to temptation.) Went straight to Bb.

Just a few minutes allowed for the prelude. Did the same thing as I did for the other two pieces: played through the first couple of pages (up to the big chords), getting a feel for the fingering.

I’ll try to scan some of these pieces for this blog so my readers can get a better idea of what I’m doing when I say I’m working on the fingering.

I didn’t get to the fugue. Hoping to squeeze in a half-hour or so of practice tonight after I get home.

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