I always return to a composition that never quite ripened into a desired tempo when I first learned it, with the intention of devising new strategies to improve my technique the second time around. In this endeavor I’ll often study videos of world class performers to ascertain physical movements that might work for me which I can then pass down to my students. (I’m sure I share a comparable journey with athletes who want to prime their performances on the field) Batters in a slump are known to study videos of players hitting 3 for 4, racking up doubles, triples and home runs.
In the music “field” I had Martha Argerich to observe. At least two of her You Tube performances of the Toccata were posted and they were at breakneck speed, though well polished and poised. How, I wondered, did she play reams of rapid repeated notes with alternating fingers so fluidly and without a second thought?
By watching this celebrated pianist for a few hours spaced over days, I obtained a new perspective on how to navigate the repeated notes, and separately, I self-analyzed my hand cross-overs and came to a new awareness about how my wrist had to spring forward to aid accuracy.
Ideas, suggestions, and epiphanies were shared in this video: