I visited a pianist friend of mine yesterday out in Hadley, Massachusetts. We’ve known each other since junior high school. He’s been ill but seems to be recovering better than anyone had hoped after what appeared to be a debilitating round of radiation. I played a piece by Robert Schumann called “Abschied” which he said he had never heard before.
I asked him if he thought he would start playing the piano again and how he would go about it. He said that he would “work up my technique first. then resurrect all the pieces I know I can play and get them up to speed. Then learn something new.” He also said he might get some work done on his Story and Clark baby grand piano.
I thought about that on the drive home. And also had a conversation about Beethoven sonatas last night with another pianist friend. I’ve been practicing some Bach and Chopin along with a piece by Schumann.
After yesterday’s conversations, I think what I’m going to do next is to sightread at a slow tempo all of the Beethoven piano sonatas starting with Book One. There are thirty-two of them in two volumes. I’ll play them slowly to listen to the harmonies and see what they feel like under my fingers. I’ve especially liked the Adagios that are in some of them. I’m pretty sure it will be an interesting experience.
and a work in progress. . .
Now that I’m thinking about it, in parallel, I think I’ll also read through my favorite piano concerto scores: Beethoven’s 3rd, 4th and 5th; Saint Saens 5th (“Egyptian”); Rachmaninoff 2nd & 3rd, Tchaikovsky (Van Cliburn’s triumphant Moscow performance) Brahms 1st and 2nd. That should keep me going for awhile at least.