Sunday, July 4, 2010

Connecting yesterday's post to the experience of playing the childhood-piano-lessons warhorses for an audience of octogenarians last week: The attention they brought to Chopin's Minute Waltz, the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# minor, the Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545, among others, felt like the attention they wish had been brought to them when they were learning those pieces.

Imagine the messages we received from those impossible assignments: You should be able to play this; it is simple enough for you.

Imagine our consternation when we did play the notes and felt utterly confused by our inability to organize tempo proportions in the first movement of the Mozart, to play softly (three p's in the Rachmaninoff), to find the Chopin the least little bit interesting--experiences I recall vividly to this day and which I could not articulate at the time.