Sunday, September 26, 2010

There is a lot of drunkenness in classical music--more than most piano teachers would care to think. My teenage four-hand students are working on the Rachmaninoff Waltz, from Opus 11. Its scenario is intoxication of two kinds: rhythmic and alcoholic. Playing and listening to it in this light changes drastically how one hears and comprehends what is and isn't happening: wrong notes composed into the piece, accents that do not jibe between the two parts, missing beats and downbeats, slowings down and speedings up, spinning lines that go on and on for indeterminate amounts of time... it has "out of control" written all over it.