Last night I recorded Chopin’s Nocturne in c# minor Op 27 No 1, the seventh piece in my “Go Play Project.” This particular Nocturne has always been one of my favorites. I find the opening strange and mysterious. And I love how out of the stormy middle section comes a ray of sunshine before returning to the opening theme.
As I mentioned, I’m choosing only my favorite short pieces for this project, and this Nocturne was high on the list…even though it’s been decades since I’ve played it.Yes…decades. I actually used this piece as part of my college audition program.
I found it interesting that:
- After only a few hours of practice, the piece was still in my fingers after all 30+ years, including the same stumbling spots.
- I vividly remember the room I performed in and what I was thinking while I was playing the L.H. octave section at my Oberlin audition in 1973. (there I said it… that many years ago!)
- I’m able to hear much longer lines and inner voices now and even though the piece remains an enigma, I’m confident that I can deliver a more mature performance given a little more time to prepare…
Never discourage a young student from learning a difficult piece. It will be with them forever to grow and mature. When they return to it later in life, it will be like picking up a conversation with an old friend.