Lyon, France/Lucerne, Switzerland

January 10, 2011

Dear Readers,

Happy 2011!

I am in a train from Basel. The dusky view out the window is greying with fog, and I am tired. Yesterday I had two concerts in Lucerne with the orchestra from Lyon and maestro Leonard Slatkin. Afterwards we were treated to a wonderful gourmet dinner at the private home of a musician, and I went to bed rather late. Earlier in the week, we had also played a couple of concerts in Lyon. The repertoire was the Tchaikovsky – the last time I’ll play that piece for quite a long stretch. Looking at the itinerary for the rest of the season, I see Menotti, Vieuxtemps 4, Mozart 5, Higdon, and many recitals. For extracurricular activities, I will be working on the post-production of an album of all four Ives sonatas I recorded with my recital partner Valentina Lisitsa last year. Lots to keep me busy.

It is a strange feeling to bid temporary adieu to this concerto. My time with it over the past few years has been rather intense: returning to it after a decade-long break, performing it, and recording it. The actual sessions came kind of in the middle of this span of time, so that the piece for me is not defined by the recording. But the recording certainly brought it to a different focus. I am a little sad to be putting this piece aside, but other things await and I am excited to get to them. In addition, when I put a piece away for a while, my concept of it changes during that time, so that when I do pick it back up, what I experience is a surprise. For that reason, repertoire breaks are necessary and intriguing.

On to Menotti now, in the centenary year of his birth. I had no idea I’d timed that concerto so well in my calendar. I simply wanted to learn it and perform it, and then everyone was talking about a hundred-year anniversary. Kismet!