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  • Writer's pictureKate

Update on New Zealand Beethoven project

On February 14, 15, and 16 Justine Cormack and I will perform the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano in three different venues in central Otago on New Zealand's South Island.

Our rehearsals are well underway. Last week, during our first day of rehearsing, we read through the first five sonatas. The second day we read through sonatas 6-10. The following day we rehearsed Program 1 (Sonatas 1, 6 and 9). The following day we rehearsed Program 3 (Sonatas 4, 5 and 10). We decided to rehearse Program 2 in two parts: yesterday we worked on Sonatas 2 and 3, and today we worked on Sonatas 7 and 8.

Justine and I hadn't seen each other in over twenty years, so in many ways this project was a big leap of faith. Our most recent experience playing together was in 1999 and we remember feeling a strong musical connection with one another. That was sufficient for us to determine that we were going to undertake this epic project together. Our hunch was right; we still find it very natural to play together, and we are in general agreement about the our overall approach to this music.

That said, it is a lot of repertoire and a lot of music to work on all at once. We are both finding it takes a physical toll as well. So, after yesterday's rehearsal we went into the city of Wanaka and each had a massage.

I found this picture from 1999:

And here we are, in 2020, with Maestro Beethoven himself:

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