Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Goldbergs are not enough - now for all the Beethoven Sonatas!?!?

I recently blogged, happily, about my successful project to learn the Goldberg Variations in a month, working gradually, one variation each day. A brief update: I am reviewing what I worked on and it will be a few more months certainly before I feel ready to let anyone hear it! But I try to remind myself that I learned it not for the purpose of performing it (a departure for me), and that if I do program the piece on a concert in the future that will be icing on the cake. (Well, I have to say I do like icing! And in a VERY tangential footnote: my manager got me a chocolate cake for my birthday last week from Magnolia Bakery in NYC and it was absolutely the best cake I have ever eaten. That is not an exaggeration.)

I am now embarking on a project that I hope will take not one month but 2 years - I want, finally, to know all 32 of the Beethoven Sonatas. I feel very much at home with about 12 of them. There are a few more that I have worked on (and one I have played in concert) but that really warrant a thorough reworking. And then there a dozen or more that I have never worked on at all. My intention is to share some of my reflections on this, perhaps once a month as I hope to get one Sonata in my fingers every month. I decided to work from the end, for now at least, so I'm working on op.111. I'll write again about that in a week or two.

I am saying it here, publicly, to help me stay on track! My friend Ali Binazir, a wonderfully tireless high achiever, recently alerted me to the existence of a web site that is supposed to help people keep up with their personal projects, whether losing weight, or exercising, or reading a book every week. The site is here: I haven't tried using it, but they have some great ideas there, and a mechanism for enlisting support from others to help get your projects done.

My challenge, aside from finding the time to do this and the tenacity and endurance to follow through for many months of work, is to translate my big goal in to smaller daily goals.  I find that the only way not to procrastinate is to have something VERY specific to do every day.  Wish me luck, as I wish you luck on YOUR projects.  

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