Piano Dreams: Liberace teaches me to play Boulez!

I don’t remember my dreams unless I write them down immediately after I wake up. Whenever I have a musical dream, I try to remember to write it down, but often forget to do so.

Fortunately, I did write down the most memorable piano related dream I’ve ever had, or at least remembered. It happened back in 1987, not long after Liberace died. Perhaps his demise triggered the dream, as well as the fact that during that period of time I often got hired to play the piano part for the Pierre Boulez Sonatine for Flute and Piano.

The dream went like this. I was backstage somewhere in Las Vegas, sitting at an upright piano. Liberace was going to coach me on the Boulez Piano Sonata No. 1. First he asked me to warm up with Satie, because that’s what he always did before making his entrance on stage in a Rolls-Royce, or flying, or whatever. Then Liberace started to point out certain measures in the Boulez:

(imagine Liberace’s voice)

“Now Jeddy, here, you really have to jump off that note quickly so that you can make the leap from bass to treble in one hand without losing the rhythm. Now, I gotta tell you, with my rings, I can’t really get this passage up to the written tempo, but, you know, Pierre always lets me do what I want!”.

It was a long and focused session. I didn’t want it to end, but then I woke up, and it was over. Boy, was I angry that I couldn’t fall back to sleep and continue with the dream, maybe have another lesson with Liberace, this time on Milton Babbitt’s Post-Partitions!

Please share your piano dreams with me here!


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