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What it's like to play a difficult piano masterpiece perfectly

February 7, 2015, 7:56 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 604

By @mariocantin

Written by Jean Marion -- originally posted on Quora.com

My memory of my college piano audition:

You practice and practice and lament and practice some more.  You have dreams about screwing up in front of everybody. (Playing perfect for yourself is no problem.)

The day comes. You sit and wait your turn.  You listen to others play and flinch at mistakes and pray that does not become you.

You sit at the piano.  All of a sudden the bench seems too big, too small, too far away from the piano, too close.  The keys are foreign.  You can't even remember where to start. If only you could have your sheet music with you.  You take a deep breath and start to play. You are overly aware that everyone is watching and listening. It is hard to concentrate on the music because all you are thinking about is them.

Then something magical happens.  The audience fades away and you start listening to what you are playing.  You are now hearing what they are hearing.  You now have the control to make it perfect. You start to relax and enjoy yourself.  Your stomach is still tied in knots, your fingers are still trembling slightly, but pride is building in what you are doing. The longer the song lasts the more you relax and try your hardest to emphasize what needs to be heard.

Finally the song is over and there is nothing but silence.  You are still trembling and afraid to stand up, but then the applause begins.  You look up and see everyone smiling at you.  Then they are surrounding you and asking who is the composer?  Schumann you answer.  What is the song?  How did you do that?  That was awesome!

You are on top of the world... until the next recital.

                                                                  ________________________

Source: www.quora.com. Link: http://www.quora.com/Piano-Performance/What-does-it-feel-like-to-play-a-difficult-musical-masterpiece-perfectly.

Republished with permission, as per Quora's Terms of Service, under the subsection titled, "Quora's Licenses to You".

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