Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Magical Moment 468, "Adagio"

I love playing piano for ballet rehearsals. It was something that intimidated me at first and took me a few months to understand and get used to, but now I feel pretty confident every time I go into work that I know just what the instructor is looking for out the pianist. I let the tiniest things get to me however, and when someone mentioned that I may want to try and learn more "classics" to play, I began to doubt myself. I like to take the songs I already know and put a new spin on them, like Hotel California, music from Disney movies, and other out of the box songs. I've gotten positive feedback doing this too. (Though I have also forced myself to learn Coppelia, Esmerelda, Giselle, and Raymonda Ballet music. Never thought I'd ever play anything like that!) 

I'm one of the few non-Russian pianists on staff and when I hear the others play Chopin, or Rachmaninoff from a studio down the hall I shrink down to about 2 inches. So, this week, bound and determine to learn a new, beautiful adagio for Saturday's class, I went through all my music. Adagios are the most beautiful ballet exercise combinations. The music is slow, flowing, and full of emotion. The dancers create long, expressive lines with their bodies and hold each pose longer than normal to build up their muscular strength. You would never know that they're working so incredibly hard because they make it seem so effortless. 

Well, I gave up on Chopin. Sorry Fred. I went the easy way and just wrote an Adagio for this week. But I tried very hard to make it "classical" sounding, so that maybe, just maybe, someone who doesn't really know much about music might actually think it's a real song from a real composer. Ballet adagios are usual in 3/4, and must be divided specifically into 4 blocks of 8 counts. It's all very technical. Is there anything easier to write than a slow 3/4 in a minor key? Nope!

For a class, I would play a 4 count intro, but this just begins right away. My favorite part is at 1:44. Enjoy!