“Your body is a beautiful machine with many movable parts. If any part is made immobile, it affects the efficiency of the whole machine.” This quotation by D.C. Dounis grounded me as I plowed through this last variation in the third movement of Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata. It was a mess yesterday in the sense that the notes were there, but I couldn’t grasp the structure, which is a permutation of the Dies Irae hymn. Frenzied mess...!
Today I focused on letting the springiness of my joints guide me, while my mind became much more aware of certain impulses in the variation. Perpetual motion necessitates these impulses - it is easy to fixate on each note during slow practicing, but the second the tempo kicks up, the brain has no time (and no need) to think of each individual note. Rather, the notes are grouped, as manifested in the idea that each active impulse is automatically followed by a group of rebound, passive notes. One feels more comfortable physically and more lucid musically and structurally.