Sunday, May 28, 2006
A year ago I decided I wanted to play Ives' song, The Swimmers. The problem was that my singer lived in Mexico, so I practiced it casually, sporadically, often giving up with the lament, "I'm not good enough!" Darling Annie finally decided that I must come to Mexico to give a birthday weekend of concerts with her, and tonight I triumphed. The Swimmers rocked. The nine-tuplets in the left hand of the third page held steady; the pulse is huge--oceanic and nebulous--but it is a pulse that must be held precise nonetheless. It is one of the few art songs I know of where, as a pianist, I completely ignore the singer...and hope that they're there to meet me at the end of each tumultuous phrase. I grinned, knowing I was its master...not its slave.