Monday, February 2, 2015

My Crazy Project

So about a year ago I began memorizing some music. Beethoven, in fact (click here to see the post). My goal was to put together a program in preparation for the Canadian National Conservatory of Music's Licentiate in Piano Performance exam. Well, this crazy project of mine is well under way now and I'm planning on doing my exam this May. Yay!!
So why is it crazy, you ask?
The length and intensity of the program make this exam incredibly demanding, both musically and physically. The pieces are so varied in style (and genre) that there is no real theme; I'm unable to play the pieces in chronological order (according to the date of composition) because the physical demands are so high I cannot play some of them back to back. It's also crazy because at times I wasn't sure I could pull it all together-- and I have. And also because the music is just crazy good. See for yourself!

These are the pieces I've prepared for my exam, in random order (the length is around 70 minutes):
1. Bach Partita No. 5 in G Major
2. Beethoven Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53 "Waldstein"
3. Chopin Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major
4. Rachmaninoff Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5
5. Ginastera Danzas Argentinas Op. 2
6. Alexina Louie Starstruck

So these days I am balancing out my practising with sessions of slow practise/metronome work and careful review of memory, playing in front of anyone who will listen, trying out different instruments, and of course resting. Today wasn't too demanding practise-wise, so I also managed to do some writing. It was such a sunny day and I was glad to be indoors scratching away at my manuscript. 

In a couple months I'll be doing real "practise concerts" and will write more on my exam preparation then. Until then here's hoping my arms hold out!
~ Jen

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