Good things happening with “Bethena”

I’ve got four themes under my belt to the point where I can mostly pound through up to the point where it moves from Bm to DM with these two big, chunky chords. (I love that Bm theme in the middle to bits. So beautiful.) I’m starting to think in terms of interpretation as well, how I want it to sound, what things I can do with the main theme with each repeat, and how I can vary each repeat of the secondary themes. One can’t play something exactly the same way twice; you have to make the music evolve as it goes or else it gets boring. Revisiting a theme allows one to find new things in it.

The second theme in Bb still takes every ounce of stuff I’ve got, but it’s getting better. I’m at the point now where it’s just a matter of doing it a million times. Third theme is not bad but has a few sticky bits where I have to make sure to call out the melody in some enormous, fairly dense chords. Fourth theme is more of a challenge than I would have thought since it’s not hard per se. However, it’s so incredibly beautiful and lyrical, and the melody is so simple that it’s very exposed. You really do have to get it right. I’ve heard people talk about Mozart like that — he won’t kill you on technique, but you need to get everything exactly right. He and that fourth theme in “Bethena” are like cooking with four ingredients; you can’t hide anywhere. If anything is off, it shows.

Then, there’s the big splashy theme in DM … then, back to the main theme in GM, and I have to keep something in reserve about it and figure out what it is I want to say as I visit it for the last time.

Someone on a piano forum someplace once said, “You know, there are other ragtime composers aside from Scott Joplin.” Okay … but so what? 🙂 Most classical types (other than myself who is sick to my back teeth of the guy) are aware that there are other composers besides Chopin, too. They just don’t care.

Then, I want to get back to the Ginastera so that I can get that back into shape and have two good pieces (that I didn’t write) ready to go. Keeping up with the Fm (that I did write) is the next one, then it might or might not be back to the Grieg or else on to some Glinka. And I shouldn’t neglect that Bm thing I wrote, either.

And of course, there’s the C#m and that weird dissonant thing I wrote in Em. I’d like to sit and think about that one more, just work on a second and third short theme to go with it, but I need to be in a bit more introspective mood to do it. The advantage of the C#m is that it’s more sound-driven and less emotion-driven, so I can sit and work on it no matter what.