Friday, June 27, 2014

Notes from the Piano

Now that I am nearing the end of my first year of my (almost) daily relationship with the piano, I have returned to spending quality time with Mr. Haydn. Things are different now. Instead of simply being amazed at what he does with his material, I am now starting to ask the music to do something for me emotionally. Instead of turning to Haydn simply for inspiration and a little instruction, I am now turning to him as a way to express myself emotionally (there is much in Haydn to soothe an aching soul) and suddenly I want to play legato, which I can actually accomplish when I use the suggested fingerings in my Peters edition of the Sonatas. This requires me to use all my fingers, even the relatively weak ones.

I noticed today that my piano fourth finger on my left hand is the weakest finger of my two hands. I find this odd since it is the very same finger I consider the strongest when I am playing the viola and the violin as well as the flute and the recorder. I suppose that there are over-developed muscles and under-developed muscles in all the fingers, and as form follows function, the underused muscles in otherwise strong fingers reveal themselves and develop over time.

I find that I want to play more evenly and more in rhythm than I did during my maiden voyage through Haydn's Sonatas, and it seems that I can now play the quicker movements with a little bit more tempo (only a bit). I was surprised that yesterday I could actually play triplets in my left hand while playing sixteenth notes in my right without thinking about it. This is something that I could only do mathematically a few short months ago.


Anonymous said...

"...I am now turning to him as a way to express myself emotionally...." Is this not what the sublime in music does so well, and what popular music as well as much of the modern avant-garde has forgotten or lost the ability to do? When one considers the eggheaded but emotionally dull complexity of some avant-garde, on the one hand, or simply being yelled at as rap does, what seems missing is the range of emotion which some of our masters showed so simply. Perhaps the modern world is just become about being pissed off, outraged, angry, in a turmoil twenty-four seven? It seems to me that some classical music is much like a vacation, a stroll on the seashore or a walk in the woods, away from the hubbub. Darn good place to turn, isn't it? Don't worry too much about the fingers' strength. That's done in a few obsessive pianists.

Bill@deepkimchee said...

It's been my contention to anyone who will discuss classical music with me that Haydn is the most underappreciated of the great composers. How rare do his works seem to show up on concert programs nowadays. It's a shame and the audiences' loss.