Getting to know you

My husband and I saw the movie Julie and Julia last week, and it started me wondering what would be a comparable project for a piano player? Like: me?!

I’m leaning toward learning all the Beethoven sonatas. I’ve previously performed maybe 5 of the 32, and have a passing familiarity with all of them of course. But I have never actually been “hands on” with every note of every sonata. Of all the piano repertory projects I can think of (all of the Bach WTC, or all the Chopin preludes or, more scarily, etudes, for example), Beethoven’s sonatas speak to me more. At least this autumn they do.

So, here’s what I’m thinking right now, and with any luck you won’t notice or comment on this, so if (ah, let’s be honest: when) I dream of throwing in the towel on it, you’ll neither notice nor comment then:

11 days for each Beethoven sonata comes in just over a year. I considered a month for each one, so I’d have a chance to really develop some facility with all of them, but that becomes a 32–month project, and I really do not have it in me to make that kind of commitment. But around a year, I think I can keep my word on that.

Oh, and I’ve already been playing Op 2, Nr 1, for five days now. So I started without telling you!

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