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There’s a reason I play the cello

April 26, 2010

You sit down to play.  There’s no possibility of being in the marching band.

Then comes Corigliano’s Promenade Overture, which, by the way, is a promenade.  Fancy that.  And this direction is in my part:

“celli: enter and march to chairs while holding instrument in left hand, (do not cover strings) and pizzicato with right hand.  Seat yourself as you reach your seat.

*The entrance music should be memorized it has intentionally been designed to be simple to facilitate this.”

Yes, the entrance music was very simple.  Until we had to play it standing up and promenading onto the stage.  It was some trick to figure out how to carry my cello with my left hand only, and not cover the strings so that I could pluck them with the right hand.  Luckily I opted to not wear high heels last night and there were no major mishaps by me or anyone else, despite our practicing the promenade a whole two times. 

The entire concert actually went very well.  The audience quite enjoyed the spectacle I think. 

As for me, I’m just really glad it’s over.  I know I say that after almost every concert.  I really do appreciate the marvelous opportunities I have to perform.  I do!  I love it, but this concert in particular was quite difficult for me.  I was feeling singularly uninspired to practice Hindemith (although it grew on me the more I got to know it) and I felt like we hadn’t had quite enough rehearsal time as a group.  I think the concert was only the third time we’d played that second movement.  It’s one thing to be able to play the cello part and quite another to know how it fits into the ensemble as a whole.  So that was slightly stressful.

Plus it’s hard to practice during the day with a baby in the house.  I’d forgotten.  With the piano you can just sit down and play for a few minutes here and there. Not that I really can or do play the piano…I’m just saying.  To practice my cello, after coordinating with A so he’s not wanting to practice piano at the same time, I have to scoot the school table over, kick the inevitable toys out of the way, move the stand out from the corner, unpack the cello, pull over my favorite cello chair…it’s somewhat more of a production that kind of discourages a quick practice especially knowing that E could very well wake up before I’ve made any headway on the music.  He was on a particularly short nap kick all last week. 

All that to say that I finally found some good practice time between 9:30 and 11 p.m. every night last week when I wasn’t at rehearsal, and I’m tired!  In a good way, but tired nonetheless.

I’ve also remembered what concert weeks are generally like for me.  I try not to, but I get full of this nervous energy that I have a hard time containing or focusing onto anything terribly productive.  I can’t do housework.  (The house looks a little scary right now.)  I can’t sit down and read or relax at all.  All I can think about is the concert and I just kind of flit from one thing to another all day long thinking, I need to practice, I need to practice, I’m not ready, must find practice time. 

So I’m glad that’s over.  I need to calm down.  The mint chocolate chip ice cream DH bought me after the concert helped, but I’ve still got a ways to go.  At least my jury duty for this next week got postponed until September and I’ve got some new mysteries sitting here waiting to be read…when I can squeeze them in amidst homeschool, housework, feeding a baby, sleep…

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