Friday, January 12, 2007

Missing my duet partners

It was a very small recital last night. The music school where I have my cello lesson, a group piano class, and piano trio coaching organizes a variety of adult recital opportunities throughout the year. Most teachers have studio recitals as well, but are more or (usually) less successful at enticing their adult students to perform with the kids, hence the separate opportunities.

Last night was a Strings Dept. recital (as opposed to All School = all instruments), and here is the program:
(1) Violin, scheduled to play a Mazas etude and a piece by Zogelchts, but canceled a couple of days before performance
(2) Violin, Telemann Fantasie
(3) Violin, Meditation from Thais
(4) Cello (me), Chanson Triste and Breval Allegro
(5) Piano trio (mine), Beethoven Op 1 No 1 Finale
Short, and with the cancellation of one violinist I was scheduled to be half the program!

The organizer padded the lineup with the last-minute recruitment of a cello duo after the New Horizon orchestra rehearsal on Wednesday. They grabbed a couple of short duets from the library and played them for us after one rehearsal. So not sight reading, exactly, but close. And very competently played, as one would expect from two people who get together every week to play duets.

In my immediate past life I had two dueting friends. One was also an excellent pianist, and we played piano trios in addition to cello duets for a few years. One year, disgusted with the limited playing opportunities in our cello-heavy chamber music group, we got the harebrained idea of playing the violin instead, and organized a group lesson. I had to stop after about a year and a half, but she continued, and even switched to the second violin section in orchestra. I guess that's when I moved over to take the role of principal cello. Maybe she had an ulterior motive? She died over three years ago, from lung cancer, very rapidly. I miss her greatly.

My other buddy was another student of my teacher's, but we didn't meet until he started playing in orchestra. When I switched teachers he followed soon after to my new studio, and somehow we got into the routine of spending the hour between his cello lesson and orchestra rehearsal reading duets. An hour devoted to playing music that was easy enough to sight read, just for fun, but it was also interesting to observe how the level of difficulty increased over time as a result of other study. I still see him every month or two, but it's a lot harder to organize duet time. That's been awhile.

No cello buddies yet in my new life. I guess last night I just remembered how much I miss them.


Anonymous said...

I miss my old cello duet partner too. She was a better cellist than me and an excellent pianist. Playing cello accompaniment with her was quite satisfying, and she ended up playing everyone's piano accompaniment in our recital.

Really ought to find another partner...

Gottagopractice said...

Too bad we don't live closer to each other.