I was definitely pumped to be playing Beethoven 9, FINALLY. Part of me was slightly apprehensive though. I have an audition coming up soon, and one that has caused me more stress than I could have ever imagined. So adding Beethoven to my list of things to do seemed almost unwise. I accepted the gig anyway though---I didn't want to miss out on this opportunity.
About the stress: I feel like I've been fighting an uphill battle with the bass as of late. I've been struggling with the most bizarre pains in my left arm. Chiropractic work has helped a lot, but it's been slow going progress. I haven't been able to practice too long, and to avoid any more pain/damage, I've gone to taking a couple days off at a time. When I DO practice, I feel like everything sounds like elephants farting or something. My poor intonation is pervasive, my left hand fingers are always jumbled up, and it's amazing that I even know to hold a bow.
Then there's the general stress of an audition. This one is a bit different than others, for reasons that don't matter. It's one that I care even more deeply about, but am having a very hard time thinking positively about. If anything, I've been discouraged, which is an odd feeling for me.
Back to Beethoven: I think I NEEDED this gig. During this concert cycle, for the first time in a long time, I found myself very happy with my playing. For weeks, I've been thinking "ugh" whenever I heard myself play. But you know how you don't see/hear progress for a really long time, and even think you're getting worse, but then you pass a milestone of sorts (that you have no idea you passed) and then BAM, stuff seems to be falling in place? Fingers know where they are going. Notes are in tune. I can hold a bow, and make it do what I want to do. I would play in rehearsal and say to myself "Wow! That sounds good!" It was beyond satisfying to play hard parts and absolutely nail them. It was awesome to hear a bassist in front of me say "You sound great". It was satisfying. It was thrilling, and most of all, it was encouraging.
And it was the encouragement I desperately needed. Thanks, Ludwig!