Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rachmaninoff Update

Well, I did it.

After a few days of just playing scales and Hanon exercises and a little of this and that (from John Denver to old recital pieces from high school), I finally sat down the other day and pulled out Book 7 of my newer edition of the International Library of Piano Music. Opened to the prelude and made myself play through it....all the way....all the way to the end....refusing to give up no matter how many notes I missed.

And I missed a few, let me tell you! Especially in that pesante section, where your hands have to jump all the way down the keyboard and then back up to play those huge chords with all the sharps and double sharps and naturals to watch out for. And even though I have pretty large hands for a woman, I can't possibly reach those things, just have to split them and play as quickly as possible to close the gap.

And he was only 19 when he wrote it. It staggers the mind.

Ah, but in case any of my students might be reading this, I should add that I did correct every note missed along the way before going further. And next time I will divide it into small sections and work on a little at a time, rather than going from beginning to end. And, yes, I did it very--very--slowly.

And it was fun. No one else could have enjoyed hearing it. The dogs fled the room, as they often do when I play. It's never fun to hear someone else practice. But when you're the one practicing, somehow the mind doesn't seem to mind.

Anyway, I needed to do that, that getting through the entire thing. It makes it seem perhaps.....possible.

Time will tell. Thanks for your encouragement.


Carisse said...

You were brave and resolute!

Sheila said...

Oh, now those are two words I don't know that I've ever heard applied to me! Thanks for a new addition to my identity! And, yes, it took bravery. Those big chords are rather scary. And I feared my brain might burst at one point, but I kept my hand to the plow and didn't look back. :-)

CarolinaGirl said...


Lucy said...


Lawrence Underwood said...


Keep it up.

Sheila said...

Hey, I like that, "the mind doesn't seem to mind." I didn't know I wrote that.