Day 79 – December 18th – Enescu and Waitrose

And I ended up playing the Enescu Cantabile because I don’t like awkward silences and it was clear that nobody else was going to volunteer. More fool me as I didn’t play well at all – numerous wrong notes and rhythms, and it was clear I hadn’t spent enough time on the piano part.

Otherwise, Trevor’s feedback for the day was pretty good. I offered the carol Il est névas or warm-up tune, which went down quite well. By providing the tune, we then get to dictate most of the warm-up exercises, and so I was able to pace things in a way that avoided me getting too flustered with memory!

Similarly, my Dvorak Symphony No. 8 excerpt was generally approved of, though I need to be more precise with some rhythms and would need to be more expressive at the start of the excerpt in an audition context. Trevor talked a lot about breathing with this one, and suggested that we use some judicious cutting of slurs after the first quaver of bars near the end to mask where we take a breath. Though sight reading an excerpt from the Grieg piano concerto wasn’t fun, I found this part of the class really useful, and a good reminder of just how high the orchestral standard is.

After class, we went on an impromptu trip to Waitrose in Ashford, mostly so that Trevor could get Christmas supplies for those that are staying over the break. Left to my own devices, I had a pleasant wander round choosing a few Christmas treats for my family and marvelling at some of the things they had in stock.

Rehearsal tomorrow, concert Saturday and a short class on Monday, then it’s holidays!

Day 78 – December 17th – Mince Pies and Enescu

I have to admit to not feeling terribly prepared for tomorrow’s class, as until two days ago we all thought there wasn’t one! However, Trevor confirmed that there indeed is, and our repertoire piece is Enescu’s Cantabile et Presto. Lovely piece, but a lot of notes for those of us like me who haven’t played it before!

I certainly won’t be putting my hand up to play in class tomorrow, and if possible I might take my turn at sitting out on this one, since I’ve played every other repertoire piece and excerpt so far. That said, I was pleasantly surprised how much of the piece I could get at least nominally under the fingers in today’s practice session – all the work on scale pattern over the last few months is definitely paying off.

This afternoon I finally got round to making some mince pies, though I wasn’t terribly pleased with the result. I bought mince meat ages ago, but never got round to making pastry, so then got some frozen pastry at Tesco on Tuesday. Anyway, the pastry was rather too thick and puffy despite my best efforts at rolling, and didn’t taste like mum’s at all. So I’m treating them as a practice batch for making proper ones and my grandparents’ next week, and will probably finish up the rest of the mince meat with my porridge in the morning!