I had nothing better to do at 1 a.m. and Aiden cat had settled down on the rug beside the piano. This time he had no energy reserves to leap to the window sill and make a racket. (Notice how Beethoven’s strains sedated him, except for a transitory cat tag jiggle. But how rude for my audience of one to turn his back on me.)
The neighbors seemed to have sacked out, though the inveterate banjo player who serenaded himself at all hours was up and about. (His presence relieved me of any guilt associated with after midnight music-making)
Without a doubt, it was prime time for recording, with the garbage trucks on hold, and the fridge, between cycles. Traffic on the street was imperceptible.
I’d even de-clocked the wall to banish irritating ticks that could kill a tasteful rubato in the Classical genre. I wouldn’t put up with a metronomic invasion of soulful, sustained lyricism.
A challenging composition that for many appeared deceptively easy, it was not a piece of cake. A slow movement such as this required increased sensitivity to phrasing, voicing, nuance and tempo. (And God forbid the piano needed regulation. Do I dare I utter that ugly word in Agriculture’s heartland, where ne’er a technician could rise to the occasion)
But back to the matter of TEMPO– I reminded myself to feel the opening movement in two beats per measure, not 4, allowing the gorgeous melodic line to be fleshed out amidst a meandering alto, shared tenor, and underlying bass.
Enough said. The music spoke for itself as best it could in the present. Another performance would wait in the wings, striving for something better.
Teaching Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata.