Wednesday, July 21

Dreaming Kinderszenen...

In a week's time, I am playing a short recital at an Embassy, here in Athens. I must say that it's pretty hard to concentrate and am struggling to have a decent practice session. I feel generally very tired and not particulary motivated. It's also very hot these days...

Anyway, I am going to play (for the fist time) a piano transcription of Libertango and am really looking forward ro that.

A strange thing happened the other day. I had this dream where I very clearly heard myself playing Schumann's Kinderszenen; I woke up in the middle of the night with the music still vibrating in my head. And I thought, why not learn the score, for my children? They would love it and, after all, it's written for them! So I have also (in a painfully slow way...) been practicing this wonderful set of little pieces.

For Schumann, my feelings are ambivalent; I adore his Piano Concerto (have played it many times); I really like Kreisleriana and Kinderszenen but, that's about it... I cannot listen to his "Carnaval" and I find "Fantasia" unbearably boring... And I recently heard a live recording of his Waldzenen by Volodos, and still was unable to follow what was going on. His Fantasiestucke (op. 12), on the contrary, I find interesting.

I must confess that another reason why I've decided to learn this piece is the fact that is not technically demanding... Which is of some importance at this stage of my life, with practically no time to practice. Having said that, however, I have a feeling that the work is very difficult in its own way; for it has some really masterly composed moments: here, simplicity meets beauty in a world of saintly innoncence. It's no wonder that my son, from the very first notes, came to the piano and asked me what is was... Yet it seems to me that in order to perform this music (well that is...) one must possess - to a certain degree at least - the quality of innocence, which, in my case, was lost a long time ago.

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