Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year News

I really didn't mean to take off a whole week from blogging over the holidays. Events conspired against me.

DH was off from work the whole week, shades of things to come should he ever decide to retire. It's good to be forewarned that there are adjustment problems ahead. I will have to get over feeling like I need to keep him amused, and he will have to learn how to amuse himself when he is not occupied with professional projects.

Speaking of professional projects, the biggest reason for my lack of blog time was that I did four hours of continuing education each day for the week. I hate it when I arrive at year end without having gotten all of my hours, and am very glad that there are reasonable options now for studying on-line. And also that I realized early enough that I was short 24 hours so that I could break it up into four-hour chunks and still finish on time. I'd make a resolution that this year I'm going to get done earlier, but I did that last year and it didn't work, anyway.

Like many others, I felt the "clean up the nest" urge as the new year approached. "You can have 30 minutes," DH said, when I suggested we organize his professional journals, stacked willy-nilly on five 7-ft tall bookcases in the office. I admit to an ulterior motive - I wanted to completely unload the center case so I could pull it away from the wall to check whether Holly, our Christmas visitor, was hiding behind them. But that's another story. The end of this one is that eight hours later he was still jokingly saying "30 minutes." It's not done, but we left the remaining shelves for another day and congratulated ourselves on how much better the 80% we finished looked.

Most of my lessons and rehearsals are curtailed until next week, but cello lessons continued, and last week's was exceptionally good. I had planned to play the C Major 4-octave scale, but T- asked for f# minor instead. Other than a momentary mental lapse moving from the D to the A string, that went well, good intonation and overall sound. Hah. Then I played the second half of Lee's melodious etude #7, again with nary a comment. We touched briefly on #8, which I have done once before, then went on to #9. Red letter day, as I haven't gone beyond the first eight in 2 1/2 years of working on them. As the next student had arrived and we were wrapping up he asked which concerto I was working on. I said "Saint Saens," half in jest but also because I have been exploring it for a few weeks, encouraged by Emily Wright's interest in using it as material for a podcast on slow practice. T- did not take it as the least bit of a joke, but, obviously delighted, launched right into a mini demonstration on approaching the double stops on page 2. So that's it - I'm committed now. Thanks, Emily.

And now for the weather. It's up to 12 degrees F today, and it's not snowing. Woo hoo!


melissa said...

Saint Saens...Hmmm...

I'm reworking Kol Nideri right now. Not a concerto, but still one of my all time faves.

And no, you didn't say anything wrong...I'm just trying to establish something approaching a rotation with my reading and this dropped off for a few weeks. Sorry. :( Forgive me?

Anonymous said...

I envy you those 7 foot tall bookcases. Mine are stuffed full, which relegates the cello music to a storage cube on the floor. Doesn't seem right.

Congratulations on getting those courses done and starting the concerto.

Emily said...

Hey! I practiced the double stops for a while today, and they are ready to record. Look out for the podcast, hopefully on the player at the bottom of my blog, in the next week. I am so happy to see you take this on.