This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual and practiced for half an hour, after my first cup of coffee. I used to practice regularly before work, but have lost a little of that discipline since I've retired. All right, a lot of that discipline. The occasion? I had a piano trio rehearsal at 9:30a and wanted to warm up before I went. That is also unusual, and only scheduled then because of extenuating circumstances. We have a session with coach planned for tomorrow evening, a new and very demanding coach, and wanted to get ourselves together a bit after the holiday, but the only time that would work for all of us was before the pianist went to work this morning. We spent some time with Mr. Metronome, and discovered many of the places where we are slowing down, and more surprisingly speeding up, to our horror. So it will be multiple repetitions of one third of Beethoven Op 1 No 1 mvmt 4 at MM 112 this afternoon and tomorrow.
Over Thanksgiving week I had the opportunity to play with a different trio. This one is interesting because the violist is also an accomplished pianist, so we might work on either piano or string trios when we get together. We've played together in various group combinations for five or so years, but rehearse only every month or two since I've moved from the area. It is a real pleasure to play with them because we are fairly well matched in our level of musicianship, and are all decent sight readers. This time we were a string trio, and Beethoven Op 3 was on tap. That gave us a chance to play movements we have been working on for a year or two, as well as to read the last couple that we haven't gotten to yet. The violinist is recovering from a knee replacement in October, and is just getting back to playing, so when we finished all 6 movements we thought it a very good night. What makes this group so much fun to read with is that we are all very good at staying out of each others' way, regardless of the technical difficulties in our own parts. That is not such an easy skill to develop, and I really miss them.