I have a recital in two weeks. A flute solo. I am prepared, finally. I started working on this piece of music eight long months ago!
Now maybe that isn’t surprising to more seasoned performers, but it’s pretty incredible to me. I remember how shocked I was when I finished my third recital and at my next lesson my teacher asked, “Now, what are you going to play next year?”
A YEAR? WILL IT TAKE AN ENTIRE YEAR? . . . . it did. Camille Saint-Saens, “Romance for Flute and Piano, Op. 37″ I never did get those quick runs up to speed…sigh…
The next year I chose “Valse Bleue” by Angela Morley. So pretty. It took so long to get the music that I “only” had eight months. . . still struggling with some quick runs at performance…sigh…and not up to tempo, either.
Last year was easier…I simply wrote my own piece to play. It’s here on the site: “Pirouette,” the third portion of my suite for unaccompanied flute or piccolo. Did I say easier? I STILL worked on it for months! But I didn’t mess up anything. Pretty cool.
This year is different. I’m prepared. Finally. There are 9 sets of 8-32nd notes that were my mountain to conquer. Of course, they have to be arpeggios, and they end on E and on F sharp…top of the flute range…two of the most difficult notes, at least as far as I am concerned! But I am ready. What a lovely feeling!
I wasn’t ready a month ago. Those arpeggios were ugly! Impossible! Hopeless! Then came the challenge from my teacher: “Do them 20 times a day–for 5 days. That’s 200 times.”
Do the math: 9 times 8, plus a few extra notes (about 10) that set the arpeggios up, times 20…thats 1,640 notes…whew! First time I did it I was exhausted. Oh, and of course there’s warm up and playing through the rest of the piece, too. (8,200 over the 5 days)
It worked. Then all I needed to do was to relax.
So how long does it take? I don’t know. For me, this year…eight months.
Here’s the pay off though. I have my own video camera this year. So look for a video to be posted after the recital. I promise to get it posted by the end of November.
Oh, I didn’t tell you what I’m playing, did I? Check back next month to find out!
Or, if you happen to be in the L.A. area…Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, Ortlund Hall, second floor, November 6, 4pm. You can see it live!