I was writing out everything I’ve got to do in the next couple of months, and it made me want to ask everyone what’s new with them since the last time I asked. So, don’t be shy - what’s on everyone’s stand these days?
Singing - I have a Kurt Weill cabaret coming up in 2 weeks that I’ve got to get moving on learning, then the role of Speaker in Magic Flute, then a set of 3 songs for voice and guitar, music by John Beckwith, text from Samuel Beckett and a set of songs for voice and piano, music by Srul Irving Glick, text by Richard Outram. Both those song cycles are for a performance on Dec. 15th.
Guitar - Well, first off, I have to learn all the music for the Weill cabaret because I’m playing for the whole show, as well as the guitar part to the above mentioned Beckwith songs. Solo guitar music - I’m working on a set of Chet Atkins originals/arrangements, the Villa-Lobos preludes and four arrangements by Leo Brouwer: Cancion de Cuna, Ochos Bruhos, Guajira Criolla and Zapateado. Guitar duets, I’m working on Danzon and Chicken a la Swing, both by Carl Kress and Dick McDonough.
Piano - I’m still playing at a Grade 8/almost Grade 9 RCM level, and the big breakthrough I’m looking to make is in the classical period repertoire. I’ve no problems with the Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Jazz and Contemporary repertoire; I have the chops and I have the passion for the pieces already. Partly because I find the Classical music for this level less than inspiring, and partly because I just don’t have the physical technique to play it well, this is the month that I want to have an epiphany, or at least develop to the point where I can leave Kuhlau, Clementi, Diabelli and Dussek behind. So, here I am working on the Beethoven Op. 49, G Major and g minor, the Haydn G Major, the Cimarosa Bb Major and the Clementi G Major Sonatina. My apologies to all those who find Clementi, Dussek and their ilk brilliant. It is undoubtedly a personality flaw of mine that I can’t wait to get on to the harder Beethoven, Hadyn and Mozart, but there it is.
And what’s on the agenda for the rest of you? Doesn’t matter to me if you’re playing it, directing it, producing it or teaching it, I’d love to know.