I met with the cellist whose mom hired me to accompany him at the upcoming Solo and Ensemble last night. He is a good player and had a good grasp of the first movement of the Brahms E minor cello sonata. This is unusual in a high school student. Talented students often attempt pieces that are beyond them for some reason so just getting through the piece is challenging for them (and for their accompanist who is trying to follow them).
The Brahms E minor cello sonata is an attractive and interesting piece. It has been a good distraction for me as I try to rest up during Spring Break. I could really use some time off from church work which has been taking a toll me but I don’t see that happening soon.
At any rate, this kid could play the piece. At the end of the rehearsal he asked me if I would perform it today at 11 AM at a mini-recital for teachers at Holland Christian High School. Silly me. I said yes without stipulating more fees for an extra performance. Two reasons. First of all, I love the piece and it’s fun and rewarding to play. I do like playing especially with other performers. Secondly and probably more important it will be invaluable experience for us to test ourselves as a team. I find that high school students often perform differently (naturally) than they rehearse, usually introducing interesting and unanticipated variations (mistakes).
This player is a cut above some of the other students I have accompanied and I am interested to see how he performs. He has had lots of experience, seems confident. My strongest comment to him last night (besides pointing out how he skipped some beats, miscounting rests) was that he had two dynamics, loud and louder. Brahms unfortunately had some other ideas which he was ignoring. He never did adjust this totally. I adjusted my dynamics a bit louder to fit what he was doing.
At the high school level, this strikes me as a very small criticism. I will know more after today’s (unpaid) performance.
I finally finished Diarmaid McCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.
I was reading in it last night and noticed that the prose was taking on a final conclusive air. I do like his writing and felt a slight disappointment when my Kindle version ended at the 78% mark. This means that 22% of the Kindle book is made up of notes and other stuff. Wow. One of my critiques of ebooks is that they dull the experience a bit by not being clearer about the size of what one is reading and where exactly one is in the book.
I think this book was highly informative and engagingly written. I learned a ton from reading it. I resisted my original notion to begin immediately to reread it. Instead, I turned to McCulloch’s Thomas Cranmer: A Life and read a bit in it. Not sure I will put it on my daily reading list yet.
I cleared a place in my living room yesterday for my electric piano. I set it up and connected it to my laptop. I also connected the exterior hard drive I own which allowed me to access old Finale files. I managed to get everything to work with the new set up. I had to install a font in order to do the Psalm for the bulletin. I use a font which mimics the font in the Book of Common Prayer. The one I found online and downloaded to my laptop seems to be a bit better than the one I had been using on the desktop.
It makes me happy that I can now use my laptop to make and/or edit music notation files. Cool.
The next step might be actually using the clunky wireless aspect of my hopelessly antiquated printer. It’s wireless alright. But you can only talk to it via email not directly. Good grief.