Thursday, April 07, 2005

I feel redundant posting about my latest lessons with M. Wittenburg, but the time I sit in his office once a week always proves to be the most interesting or surprising half hour of my week. I brought Debussy's Des pas sur la neige to him this week, full of delayed and deliberate emotion. It is pensive, vague, haunting, always searching but never lost. As always, he stops me about halfway down the first page to comment, though he says that he's really just being picky because the first part sounds so good. I continue with the rest of the piece, and he stops me again at the last section. The music p, but always building and purposeful. I linger through the last four measures, falling down the notes which are like points of light that end with a deep and complex chord. When I finish, his hands are raised above his head, paused at the end of his directing. He guides me through the last lingering sound as I slowly lifted the pedal. We sat for a moment of silence.

He then sat back in his chair and told me that he wants me to consider taking a jury this semester. Though juries are not required for secondary lessons, he said that he thinks that the comments from the faculty would be helpful. He also wants me to take one just so the rest of the piano faculty can hear me play. According to him, I play better than most of the piano majors here. If that wasn't surprising enough, he then asked me to consider taking an opera assistantship with him next year. Though there is virtually no money in it, he is confidant enough in my ability to have me learn the score so he can spend less time behind the piano and more time directing and coaching the opera. He also believes that I should think about taking an hour lesson next year instead of a half hour. Next thing I know, he's going to be asking me to be a piano major as well. As it turns out, it seems that I spend too much time and make too much money playing the piano as a non-major. How is that for irony.

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