What are you playing now?
My finger seems to have recovered, for the most part, from the surgery I had in January to release the trigger finger. I was plagued with achy pains for months afterward, and then, in July, it stopped hurting, for the most part. It's not fully functional, in the sense that it doesn't extend as fully as the others.
Fortunately, full extension is not an issue for playing piano, and as long as there's no pain, I'm good to go.
I got in contact with one of my first teachers. She's pleasant and enthusiastic. Not as critical as can be, but she offers encouragement and structure (which is what I need).
Had my first lesson with her yesterday and we decided to work on these two pieces.
I had the b-minor Chopin mazurka under my fingers a while ago, so we thought we'd revisit some Chopin.
Opus 6 #1:Link to video
Mompou cancons i danses #5Link to video
The thing about Mompou is that, for my fingers, the chords and harmonies are so "unnatural." THey're lovely, of course, but they don't just "fit" like composers from a century earlier.
There's a lot of tricky stuff in the left hand as well...
Gonna be fun.
Been playing guitar way more than piano lately. So much so that I am pretty damn rusty on the ol' ivories.
Just playing around with some bluesy, jazzy improvs mostly. I have been watching and listening to players such as Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, etc. I have the opening sequence to Deep River Blues and it has morphed into something that now just "borrows from it" vs. being a cover.
George, that Chopin mazurka is delightful - a bit like something Scriabin might have written. And the Mompou should be fun - something is both engaging - but also not known by everyone.
I continue to grind in a few things that I was working on earlier in the year - trying to commit to my increasingly feeble memory - 3 Brahms intermezzi and the Chopin Scherzo #2 in B flat minor. I've liked that Scherzo since early childhood and for some reason have always shied away from it - maybe because I remember Rubinstein's performance? I started it a couple of months ago and was amazed at how well it falls into my fingers. AND, there's oodles of repetition. This is one of two pieces that Franz Liszt would not allow to be played in his studio - the other being his Hungarian Rhapsody #2. Apparently, the two works were so overplayed that he couldn't stand to hear to hear them butchered. He'd certainly feel that way if he heard me. I think I should probably have some folks who know the work listen to me - and make sure I don't cause Liszt and Chopin begin to roll over in their respective tombs. I may take a couple of virtual lessons, now that has become more feasible.
Gonna call that Chopin mazurka complete and under my fingers (which means that I'll forget it in about a month, but easily resurrect-able).
Here's a guy talking about interpreting that mazurka.Link to video
The Mompou and Poulenc are coming along nicely, but much of the Mompou is demanding because of tricky left hand parts (as I mentioned).
In the meantime, gonna pick this up:Link to video
Not too difficult until you get up to speed, LOL.
That Kabalevsky is a TON of fun to play. There are a few YouTube videos out there, and all of them play it devilishly fast. Faster than I want/am able to.
This is more representative of my tempo:Link to video
I'm not sure if I'm all that fond of his interpretation - it's a bit "dry."
I also started working on (sigh) the Pathetique. I figured it's something I should learn while I'm still on the green side. I'd call the 1st movement about 50% done.
Another "big" project that I started a couple of weeks ago is the Italian Concerto. I'd forgotten how damn exacting Bach can be. It's good discipline.
So many spinning plates at the moment.
I'm calling the Chopin Mazurka done (have for a couple of weeks, as a matter of fact).
The Mompou I'm also calling done. So much tricky left-hand stuff, but once you get it, you get it. Delightful music, and I'm tempted to pick up his #5.
Poulenc Novelette? Probably about 80% of the way there. I can hit most of the keys most of the time. Working on making it sound musical.
Kabelevsky? I need to work on some technique tips to get some of the awkward "close-in" parts to work. But it's a ton of fun to play, esp the last movement.
The Pathetique is a long, slow grind. Coming along. I need to work on making theme #2 sound fluid and musical. It'll get there, just not in the next month, LOL.
Started working on Bach's Italian Concerto. Another of those "tons of fun to play" pieces. But, Bach being Bach, you have to learn this slowly, hands separate. The first movement will probably take me through the
earlylate parts of spring.
I always found these parts to be rather difficult, if you want to play them truly "con brio".
I re-listened to Robert Greenberg's lecture on the Pathetique the other day. He was given permission to use Claude Frank's performances for his lectures.
Go to about 1:40
It's a bit frantic for my taste - not "pathetic" enough.Link to video
Working on/brushing off three Rachmaninoff Etudes-tableau and two preludes. Hopefully they’ll be in serviceable shape for late March for my midwestern visit.
No, they won't, and if you are honest to yourself they were never in anything close to serviceable shape.
I picked up piano again last week. The Schulze Pollmann actually sounds pretty good.
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Maple Leaf Rag
WTC1 c# Major prelude
That's great to hear given all you've been through.
Thanks Kluurs. The thumb is a minor hindrance, but I think it won’t make a big difference after I get used to it.