I completely blanked out on how challenging this thing that I wrote was. I was comparing it to the other five-sharp etudey thing in my head and wondering why I couldn’t play it that well.
Then I realized that just because something is composed of endless eighth notes in the right hand doesn’t mean it’s the same as something else composed of endless eighth notes in the right hand. The five-sharp thing was octaves with stuff in the middle, which means that out of each set of triplets, only one predictably placed note was communicating data, and the other two were repeating harmonic motifs that only carried information that was already carried in the left hand. The modulations were also a bit more predictable.
In this piece, the notes that carry melodic data in the right hand are a little more randomly placed, and even though I know the melody cold, the modulations don’t take place at the sidewalk cracks but in-between. Agh.
There are also a few strange reaches.
Thank dawg there isn’t a huge amount of terribly challenging pedal work — I’m pretty much off the pedal for large chunks of the piece, and only use it to emphasize a few things. I’m not marking pedaling in the thing (I rarely to never mark pedaling in any of my pieces anyhow; that’s the pianist’s job is to figure that out), and I still have to put in more than just a bare sketch of the dynamics. Dynamically, it’s not terribly complex or varied anyhow.
I really want to get this thing recorded. I can’t wait to have two completed sets of variations for two aria intros, and I can feel myself getting more and more competent, which is very pleasant.
I don’t think I want to stop at the variations, though. Ultimately, I think I’d like to circle back around and then write longer pieces for each intro, much more loosely based on each, as opposed to the lockstep variations I’ve done so far. Each intro will have three variations, and then one longer piece based on it. That will probably be nice.
It would be fun to be able to go through all of the aria intros for his top four operas and do this for all of them. While I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony.