Monday, September 20, 2010

Concert No. 2

It’s hard to believe but the San Jose cycle is already 25% complete. The Appassionata was probably the highlight to date, and with a few retakes, Op. 109 came out really well too. None were disastrous, I am pleased to report.

This time I used a couple of cheat-sheets. The first movement of the G minor sonatina, Op 49 required so little work to get it the way I wanted that I never quite managed to lock it into my memory bank, having missed learning that one as a kid.

There was an event during the opening movement of Op. 54.  Beethoven’s music possesses a powerful inner logic. Most of the notes are precisely the notes they have to be at any given moment, and as a result, memorizing his music is generally easy (for me, at any rate). However there are certain movements, often slow ones, containing several variegated iterations of the same theme.  Generally, those inner variations become more elaborate as the movement progresses, but still, memorizing those differences give me my share of trouble. As a result, during the performance, I also end up spending far too much of my creative energy worrying about what’s coming next.  The first movement of Op. 54 is one such instance, so I placed a sheet containing the last page on the music stand.  As I turned the first page, which was easy to do because there is a long rest for the right hand, the resulting breeze blew the extra page off the piano onto the keyboard, then onto my lap and finally onto the floor. All the while, I was performing and the microphones were recording the proceedings. Needless to say, that movement required more than one re-take the next day.

Given that these works are being recorded for future release, from now on, I might very well play some of the sonatas with the scores open, and even with a page turner.  Feedback anyone?

Incidentally, there was an on-line review of the first concert:

Next up, some thoughts on editions and adherence to text. See you then

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