I'm just coming back to PW after almost a year away. Since I had been logged off of PW, when I came to this thread it took me to the first page. Did you know that the first post in this thread was made in 2006? Wow! Anyway, I hope you'll all let me share a piano update, because (as you'll see) Einaudi is front and center in it.
Last summer, we moved halfway across the country and I started a new job last August, so it's been more than a little crazy. But my Einaudi pieces were really the main thing that made it possible for me to keep playing. I just had a stack of his pieces that I'd already worked up, set those on top of the piano and even if I was dead tired, I'd play through one or two before going to bed. Then a variety of things came together and in March I bought a new (to me) acoustic piano (yay! I had only had a digital for the last seven years). So as you can imagine, I've been playing a lot
Anyway, in January, I was invited to the annual music party of a new colleague. I played Le Onde. It was the first time I'd played publicly for many years, and the first time in many many years to play in a recital-format, and as it happens, I crashed and burned rather stunningly.
But that's quite alright, people were kind and the party itself was wonderful. Most of the musicians were pianists or guitarists, but one of the other attendees played the cello. He played a piece from the Bach cello suite, and he played just beautifully. I was completely captured by the tone and the sound and feeling he created. And there's nothing like hearing a beautiful instrument, beautifully played, in someone's living room!
So after it was all over, I introduced myself and casually mentioned that I'd always wanted a cello friend, and that I hoped someday to have the chance to play some Einaudi pieces that are written for strings and piano. Well, wouldn't you know it, he said he'd be interested in that and (in spite of my crash and burn) gave me his email and said we should get together.
So of course I bought the score for Einaudi's cello collection right away!
We got together with him and his wife in February and picked out what to play, and then we went to his house in March. He has an ancient Korg stage piano (the sounds come from one of those 3 inch floppy discs!) but it worked and we practiced Reste Con Me.
The Korg was ... Interesting. It didn't have a music stand, so we had to kind of prop the music up and lean it against the wall, and then in order to turn pages, I had to reach waaaaay back from the keyboard, probably three times the distance it would be if the music was on a music stand for an acoustic piano. That made it very challenging, to say the least! But we gave our best. In Reste Con Me, the piano starts and the cello comes in after the first 8 measures. The first time we played together, and he started his part, it just took my breath away. I don't know how else to put it. After that, we practiced for about an hour, trying to get our timing together and working on some kinks. It was sooo much fun!
Then he and his wife came to our house last weekend, and I accompanied him on my new piano! This time I was on my own piano (without the sheet music being a mile away!) and he was sitting much closer to me. And of course it was an acoustic piano instead of an ancient digital. And, even better, we had both practiced more and knew how to play together better. We played over and over over for about an hour. It was the most amazing thing I think I've ever done musically.
It sounded wonderful! And because I was more confident with my part, I could really listen to him and enjoy the music that we were making together. After that, he played some Bach for us, and I stumbled through Nefeli
I have struggled with some degree of performance anxiety for most of my years playing piano. I have figured out how to prevent it from ruining my enjoyment of playing for others, but it does still sometimes get in the way of my ability to play well (especially if I haven't been practicing-for-performance). But when I played with him, it was so easy to just focus on the music and concentrate completely on that. And no shaky hands! (Of course,the audience was only our two spouses...)
Anyway, that was last weekend, and we're hoping to get together at the beginning of June to do DNA (also from Einaudi's cello collection) and of course Reste Con Me again. But, the bad news is, he's moving!
so that will probably be our last time playing together, because he's moving halfway across the country.
But now that I know what it's like to play with a cellist, and I know that I can do it, I think I will try to find someone else to play with in the future. Maybe I can get a few string players to be friends with me -- I really want to do the Earth Prelude with strings!
Sorry this got kind of long. Here's the tl;dr version: every Einaudi fan should have a cello friend!