Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally, some Chopin

Today was the day. I was determined to record my Chopin piece today and finally, after all this time, put everything right.

Years ago I was living in Little Rock and playing music at night for truckers and bikers. As much as I enjoyed their company, I missed my school days, so I enrolled in UALR to take piano lessons and some music classes and to play violin in the orchestra. Who knows, maybe I could find some people that I like?

One day I was playing piano in one of the practice rooms, struggling with a Chopin piece that I could never play, and still can't play, though I am closer than before. The Fantasie Impromptu is a great monster of a piece. I remember sitting there, working on the first section. In the practice room next to me was a guy I recognized from the orchestra--a flute player and first-class jackass. When he heard my feeble attempts, he started playing the same piece, not great, but easily better than me, as if to say "I'm a flute player and even I am a better pianist than you." I should have gone over and congratulated him, but I felt small and embarrassed. And, as I said, he was a jackass.

Of course, I'm on the Internet now and am empowered to make statements to the world whenever I like. Now I can make everything right. I've been working on the piece for a few days, and today was the day I would record the first section (if only a few seconds of it) and let that flute player go flute himself. But I just can't play it fast enough and I can't play it without mistakes, ever, but especially not when the video is on.

So I went on YouTube to listen to some different recordings. And I was reminded that music like this should and can only be played by a real pro, not by a do-it-your-selfer with issues. This recording, in particular, is really nice. Big waterfalls of sound.

In the meantime, I'll keep practicing this piece. It's OK that I'll never play it--I just need to remember to have fun.

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