Monday, January 23, 2012

Music wise...

I'm working on a Beethoven Sonata at the moment. An early one, Op. 2, No. 3. I love Beethoven. The little motifs that wind their way from movement to movement. I always found him a little awkward to play. There is no question his music is not as "pianistic" as Chopin's, for instance. But gorgeous.

The cello is coming along. I should have another recording or two to post in a week or so. My teacher told me we'd be moving into Suzuki Book 3 pretty soon. He says he wants to go through one more unit to cover 3rd positon and then we can start working on repertoire. Yes, I am excited!

I finally had a technician look at the harpsichord I purchased last year. He worked on it for a few hours and got the 8 foot register up to snuff. The 4 foot needs more work but Since re-reading the construction manual that came with the harpsichord (it was built from a kit from Zukermann in 1974), I think I'm going to try to tackle it myself. I can see that some of the plectra need replacing, it obviously needs tuning, and a few strings need replacing. Since the technician was here I have in fact shaved one of the plectra from the 8 foot register to match the sound of those around it. None of the work seems terribly technically demanding... it's just that the gauge of it all is very fine. Just a little shaving will make a difference.

Speaking of tweeking, I need to tune it almost every day that I play it. Well! The first day I went about tuning the 5ths. All very close to perfect.... so that when I came back around to C again (that's where I started), it was OFF! Of course! That's why we use temperament. It took me a while and did not feel it reached the stage of being "in tune" enough to play. The difference between sounding good and sounding not so good can be just the minutest turn of the wrench. Yes, a fine gauge.

My second attempt was a little better. Didn't take as long and I was able to play some Bach even though I wasn't pleased with all the pitches.

Today was even better. I got it tuned in about 15 minutes! And it was quite playable. I am starting to see that eventually it won't take but 5 or 10 minutes to get it up to snuff.

I can tell I'll be developing quite an intimate relationship with this pretty little harpsichord. We're going to be good friends.

At least for the time being I need to play it after I've practiced piano. Reason being that the touch is so light and different. If I play the harpsichord then mosey over to the piano, it's keys feel very heavy! I've discovered that if I practice piano as I would normally, then spend a half hour or so on the harpsichord I'm fine. By the time my next piano practice comes around (the following day) the memory of the harpsichord is gone and it feels very natural, and as usual. There really is a big difference between the two.

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