Saturday, November 16, 2013
scores haven't posted yet, but . . .
I don't think I could have done much better tonight. I opened with a Telemann sonata. I had originally planned a Buxtehude work, but I tossed it in favor of Telemann. I think it was a good move. At this point in the concert I was running on adrenaline but I managed not to rush anything, and I nailed the opening piece.
My next work was Bach Partita #5 in G. Somewhere in the opening notes of movement number one (the Preambule) of the Back work I slipped into the zone. The zoneis something I'd heard about but never before experienced. I'm not even sure I believed it existed. I don't really know how to describe it, though I will make a stab at it in the near future. Suffice it to say that I don't think I could have forced myself to play anything wrong even if I had tried. I sailed through the first half of my program.
My brother brought ten baseball teammates, who sat together in the mid stage-right section along with Jared, Timmy, Gerard, my cousins Josh, Phillip, Michael, Patrick, Andrew, Scott's brother-in-law Joel, and several others. They were apparently whooping it up between selections to the extent that it nearly [but not quite] was inappropriate, but I didn't even notice.
During intermission no one came backstage to where I was except my dad very briefly as he passed through the area after giving a few strings of the piano a qucik retune. I learned afterward that my professor had recognized my level of focus and didn't let anyone through to talk to me during intermission. He announced that intermission would be very short. We were in an auditorium that had ample restroom facilities so it wasn't a matter of waiting around for everyone to use the bathroom who needed to do so. My professor didn't say a word to me during break. My dad didn't say anything.
I opened the second half with Beethoven's Sonata in E-flat, which is every pianist's dream -- a work so lovely that if a person can play it at all the person will sound beautiful while playing it. It's a masterpiece created for sending anyone back into the zone or keeping the person there, and it worked. My professor knew what he was doing when he had me open the second half with it. Then I just had Gershwin Prelude #4, and my killer piece -- the only selection I played out of chronological sequence -- Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu, which is quite possibly the single most perfect work ever composed for solo piano.
At that point I was finished, and I could have stopped everything right there because I was a mere six minutes away from maxing out the time allotted, but I really wanted an encore and didn't sense that the audience was tired. I played a piece from "Fantasies and Delusions," which is Billy Joel's foray into classical music. I would have liked to have played more of Fantasies and Delusions and to have included it into my actual program, but we decided in the end that it was too risky because it might not have been taken seriously by all members of the adjudication panel. Taking a stand is a noble ideal, but in the end, sometimes a person cannot put his or her final grade on the line just to make a statement. Billy Joel is a big boy and doesn't need unimportant me to fight his battles of acceptance into the world of bona fide classical music. I chose instead to use a single selection from Billy Joel's work after the score sheets had been handed to the department secretary in attendance. The panel can add supplemental sheets to raise a person's final score based on the encore, but performance on an encore cannot be used against a degree candidate.
I played "Air," subtitled "Dublinesque," which is a simple but magnificent melody. It was well received, and my professor told me that five of six members of my adjudication panel submitted supplementary sheets which presumably raised my score since the scores couldn't be used to lower it. The lack of response of the sixth panel member told me I had made the right choice in not including the Billy Joel work in my actual program. I would presumably have been penalized because someone on my panel didn't think it was a suitable choice.
It's past the time frame in which my scores should have been posted. My professor tells me that can only be good, because the secretary would have been damned sure to meet the deadline, or would have at least called him to ask for permission to post the scores late, if there had been any issues. I could technically dispute everything because the scores have not been delivered to me, albeit electronically, by the deadline. My professor said the scores are probably uncommonly high to the point that someone else was brought in to recalculate and audit. That's fine. I want to see the real scores when I see them. If someone in the department complains because I was scored too high, I want my scores to stand.
My competitor was there. He shook my hand afterward and told me he's not worthy to clean the mud off my cleats. He was speaking metaphorically. I'm wearing heels tonight, and they have no mud on them. I'm not sure I buy the competitor's words, but I like hearing them just the same. My mom told me I played better than she played at her master's recital. She's always my harshest critic, so I do believe what she said. Dad thought it was terrific, but he always thinks whatever I play is great. PseudoUncle Scott said I totally rocked.
Thanks to everyone for their words of support and kind wishes. I'm typing on someone's Ipad at my reception in a pizza parlor while waiting for my scores, which I hope will appear soon.