Bridge(s) of Sighs

I’m pondering repertoire for my students this afternoon but I’m really thinking about Venetian foot-bridges (yes, I’m obsessed by “The Most Serene Republic”).

Do you see each bridge as an obstacle—as just another set of steps to climb to get from one side of a canal to the other—or do you see them, as a true musician does, as transitions between one space and another?

Our individual repertoire can be viewed as a series of foot-bridges. We go over each piece that we choose to play slowly. It is part of our personal rhythm—a link between two parts of our own musical theater, like changes in scenery, or like the progression between Act One and Act Two. Our role changes as we pass through each new piece. We cross from the reality of one language to the next, from one technique to another. Each becomes a necessary portal to the next level of our musicianship.

Choose your repertoire carefully. Don’t re-cross the same bridge endlessly, even if it’s in Venice. There’s another a short distance away that leads to new things.

Written August 22, 2009

Last updated October 22, 2010  

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