Today I joined Patty's students at her winter recital. I haven't played a solo, as I'm sure I've mentioned, for a couple of years, so I (rightly) chose to play something I knew already - Suite de Trois Morceaux, by Benjamin Godard (first two movements). I pulled my usual act of not practicing nearly enough, but I tried something new this time around: I knew I hadn't worked hard enough but I was really, really calm about it beforehand.
I was also trying not to worry about my flute - it's been making some noises (mechanical in nature) that are worrisome. I totally need to get it into the shop, but I've been putting it off. For one thing, it's way expensive. I had no idea what was going to happen today, so I just wished for the best. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it today, but after Christmas, before flute choir starts in January, I need to have it looked at. Shozo, here I come!
I also played in a trio with Judy and Meagan (the unavoidable Tchaikovsky; we did an arrangement for three flutes and piano of three of the movements from The Nutcracker; my favorite was "Arab Dance"), and played with everyone on three holiday songs (Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; O Hanukkah; and We Wish You a Merry Christmas; I have a distinct fondness for "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," because it was my first ever duet. I played it with Melissa a hundred and one years ago. She played the top, and nailed it. I think I was too green to do much but be nervous about it. This time around I played the bottom, and it was short and sweet). Since I don't get to see Patty's other students very often, it was fun to see and hear them. She has two high school students, Patrick and Meagan, and I love seeing them grow up. They're both great kids. Meagan's playing is wonderful now: she has great tone and is so self-assured and elegant.
My performances were okay. At first I was being very hard on myself - my plan to be calm was fine, and I certainly was very relaxed during the piece, but afterward, I felt bad because of some of the silly things I did. For one thing, my stupid right hand was out of control for some reason. I just could not make it work on this one measure that unfortunately is repeated like a hundred times during the first movement. After the third or fourth time of flubbing the figure, I realized that it was just funny. I let it go but it didn't make it better. I also flubbed my entrance at the end. But afterward, people were very nice about my playing, and I think it must've been better live than it was in my head. Patrick (my Patrick) recorded it with his Blackberry, and though the Blackberry's recording equipment is horrible and the quality is shoddy, I heard the things in my playing that even I have to admit are good: my tone, my pitch (I think - I seemed to have conquered yesterday's problems with being in tune); I was light where I needed to be light and except for the aforementioned figure, I played almost all the fast bits well.
Here's where I get to totally talk up our accompanist, Mark Abulencia. He's an amazing pianist, a wonderful musician, a sweetheart, professional, much more than merely competent; he listens and follows you and when weird things happen (and weird things will always happen) he figures it out and leads you out of it, and sounds great himself while doing it. He's wonderful, and I am so lucky to get to play with him. Thank you, Patty, for hiring him! He makes me want to go back and fix the things I need to fix, re-learn the third movement, and perform it all over again. Maybe next time. Maybe in January I'll take a few more lessons and try to get serious again.