One of my first orders of business after we got home was to have the piano re-tuned. It had gone predictably wonky as it settled in while we were gone. Until it was re-tuned, there wasn’t much point in playing with Akemi. And while we were away, she had her violin in the shop for some maintenance and to have her bow, much abused with conservatory use, re-haired.
So yesterday and today were the first chances we had to hear how the violin and the piano, and Akemi and me, sounded together now. For old times’ sake, we played through some of her childhood pieces. Every now and then, she’d stop to say, “I can’t believe I used that fingering” and other such gems of perspective.
We’re always on the hunt for decent “salon pieces,” the short crowd-pleasers for church musical numbers, receptions, and dinner parties. She’s tired of Gluck’s Melody from Orfeo and Euridice and Elgar’s Salut d’Amour; too bad, because I like how she plays them. We ran through some new hymn arrangements and a new classical possibility which we both think is beautiful: “Je crois entendre encore” from Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles.
I can't get enough of the tactile joy of Steinway action that plays again like Steinway action. I keep saying it's like driving a race car. We had fun reveling in marvelous sound together before Akemi had to return to the business of practicing.