Monumental pieces for the piano occupy a special place in the repertoire – recently I saw Oliver Messiaen’s epic Visions de l’Amen duet played by Aimard and Stefanovich, for example.  Players treat these pieces differently than they do orchestral works, program music or chamber pieces.  My experience is extremely limited, but Lars Vogt’s performance of […]

The Bach Concerto for Two Violins is supposed to be a duet, so yesterday Teacher and I started on that part of the project.  We played through the first page or so twice, and I think it went well!    Playing duets with her is always fun, enabling me to appreciate my progress on the instrument […]

I had my first lesson yesterday after a break of over a month – the longest hiatus to date that Teacher and I have passed in our five years.  During that time, travel for a funeral and for the holidays and other end-of-year happenings conspired to keep my practice at bay.  I probably only practiced […]

In phone conversations with my nana, at some point she’d generally say, “I read all your blog posts, Ryan – I just think it’s great!”  While I don’t have a lot of 90-year-olds in my list of acquaintances, I do think it’s safe to say that Nana managed to keep up with the times more […]

My Mondays off afford me the opportunity to take in free concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center from time to time.  I gravitate toward the recitals sponsored by the Musicians Club of Women – they present “award winners in concert” and start at 12:15 (on the dot).  Last Monday, November 26, the award winner was […]

Book Four is a long haul.  In yesterday’s lesson, after we played through the final notes of the final bars of the final piece, Teacher rejoiced jubilantly – a slightly unexpected celebration for me, “You made it!”  She wrote the date in the book in the margins next to the last measure.  Sloughing through all […]