This is a diary of my love affair with the cello.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's beautiful but I can't enjoy it

I've been working on the Prelude to the Bach Suite 3 on and off for a couple of years now. The Bach suites are so beautiful but when I start to really work on them...the beauty of the pieces become secondary. What I mean by that is that while I am playing it, I am so focused on playing it beautifully that my enjoyment of the piece gets put on the shelf.

I used to dream about the day when I can really play something beautiful and how great that would feel to create such beautiful music. I guess I envisioned an emotional enjoyment very much like being a listener in the audience but that it would be even better because I would be the one creating that beauty. As I think about this isn't like that at all. My teacher has talked a lot about not becoming emotionally tied to the music...that the enjoyment of the music belongs to the audience. As a player, you have to be somewhat detached from the piece so that you can deliver it with the correct intention.

As a listener, I used to enjoy the major change in the color halfway through the prelude of the 3rd suite. As a player, that same enjoyment isn't there anymore. I told D during the last lesson..."...this part this soooo beautiful but I can't enjoy it because I'm too focused on trying to keep it all even. Arghhh!" He said...."It'll be a few years before you enjoy that section..."

What I've realized is that my consumption of the music I play is different than being a listener...It isn't satisfying in the way I thought it would be. The enjoyment has shifted to an enjoyment that comes from being able to play the way I want it to sound....rather than enjoying the music produced by me. Maybe it'll change as I get better but it's so much less romantic this way!


Emily said...

But isn't that the way real romance happens? That you go through this thing as a twosome, and manage to see each other clearly and love each other more deeply? I say you're in your "we just moved in and wow this guy pees on the seat" phase. So you lovingly correct it, when time permits, definitely between looks at bow and double stop related etudes. Can I be your maid of honor when you two work it out? ;)

CelloGirl said...

LOL - Is this the way a real romance works? I wouldn't know! Ha! I can't get past, "why is this guy peeing on the seat?"

Any particular etudes you like to use to even out that section? I'm so close it's killing me.

Emily said...

Go to early Schroeder. I think 12, 16, 18, in there. Maybe 23. I'll double check. Super bow crossings! Take your time and don't try to control the bow on each string. Work instead on a pendulum-like big swing as you move over 3 or 4 strings in a bow.

And I love the feeling of the post after this one. I am with you, sista.