03 June 2015

Impish Impermanence

Yesterday [2 June], the Studies in Impermanence went much better than I expected, or might have had any right to expect. It remains a nervy exploit, playing a 20-minute unaccompanied clarinet piece.

And I learnt that I am playing much better these days, than nine years ago, in rather an ironic way. Back when I first played the Studies, I took the faster passages cautiously slow, and the piece stretched out to almost 25 minutes. It's a while since I played it, so I was counting on the piece occupying 25 minutes for yesterday's concert. (In fact, when I performed the piece a couple of years later, in Atlanta, I took impromptu cuts, to keep the timing down; that may be one reason why I did not bridle overmuch when I was asked to play an abbreviated Thoreau in Concord Jail for Danvers. Anyway, better that, than being burnt for a witch . . . .)

Yesterday, I pretty much coasted through the piece. (Rather a surprise, considering how ratty Monday night's run-through of the Studies was . . . but then, yesterday I was fresh, where on Monday night, my brain probably suffered a bit from having endured the first day back in the office after a week's vacation.) Not saying my performance was perfect (it wasn't) but everything sits quite well in the fingers, and this is the most musical performance I've given of this piece yet.

I set up my recorder, but somehow managed not to record the performance. Maybe I'll try a "studio recording" here at home.

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