One More Time, From the Beginning

Yesterday, we had our first rehearsal for “Jupiter,” and as I had suspected, the beginning of the piece is the hardest part.

It’s fast, it’s complex, and it demands a lot of concentration from both players. And, if you don’t nail it exactly, you’re screwed! It’s not something you can kind of do right and keep going. You have to do it perfectly, or the whole thing dissolves into chaos.

We spent a lot of rehearsal time on that beginning. But when you have two players who prepare thoroughly for rehearsals, have really strong senses of rhythm, and who actually listen to one another, even fixing mistakes and fine tuning is fun.

I’ve now memorized a little over half of the music for this piece and hope to finish the rest before the end of February. There are a few more treacherous sections, where the rhythm shifts from measures with three beats in them to two-beat measures. There’s also a return of the spinning ideas of the opening, but this time, they’re interwoven with other notes and themes in the other parts, so you’re doing completely different things with the left and right hand that don’t line up in neat rhythmical sections.

But we’re starting to talk about tackling another planet besides “Jupiter”. “Venus” is much slower and very lyrical, so it would make a nice contrast. But “Uranaus” is fast, full of humor, and sounds like it could be a real blast to play, so …

I chose “Jupiter,” so I’m leaving the next selection to my partner. Whatever she chooses, I’m sure we’ll have fun playing it, and probably make some pretty good music to boot.

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