Hey Dr. Rogers, I was just browsing the Diplomas thread and it seems you should have done your G8 now? How did it go? I chuckled when I saw your PhD title -
'My dissertation had the witty, engaging title of "Designing Cost-Effective Secure Processors for Embedded Systems: Principles, Challenges, and Architectural Solutions". ' and thought, if you can do that, you must be surely able to play Bach well. Just replace "cost-" with "practice- effective" ....
It's actually this Friday - just a few days a way! I think I'm as ready as my arthritic hands and aging, cloudy brain will ever be.
- Bach - Prelude and Fugue in D minor from WTC II, BWV 875: The fugue is very solid, and I hope it will impress the examiner. It really breathes, and I'm able to bring out the counterpoint and, at least in my mind, expose a glimmer of Bach's genius. The prelude, however, is hit and miss. Sometimes I really like how I play it, but sometimes it just goes to pot. It only has two voices, but the tempo is pretty quick ("Allegro veloce" per Busoni) and there are many, many potential problem areas. I tend to perform better under pressure than in practice, so hopefully I won't stumble too much.
- Beethoven - Third mov't from Sonata Op. 14 No 1, Allegro comodo: I play this fairly well if my allegro is truly comodo. It falls apart if I try to play it too fast. I just hope I have the presence of mind to kick it off at a reasonable tempo in the exam. I should be okay if I can keep it to a manageable tempo.
- Brahms - Intermezzo in A minor Op. 76 No. 7: I'm pretty confident with this one. There's one note in the left hand that I sometimes miss, but that's my only real concern there.
- Scales and arpeggios: No worries here - I've worked hard and now I have them where I want them. I only mess up when I get distracted or in a hurry - in the exam I'll be deliberate and focused, so I should be fine.
- Aural: My average on e-music maestro is about 80%, which includes my inauspicious beginnings. My current average would probably be in the 90s. I don't expect a perfect aural score, but at least I won't make a fool of myself.
- Sight reading: This is a tossup. I practice it every day. If they give me something in the classical or romantic style, I should be fine. If it's something jazzy, I'll probably bomb it. Baroque could go either way. But I will just keep going and try to maintain a sense of the rhythm, and leave the score to the piano gods.
I'm confident I'll pass, and may even get merit. I would love to get distinction, but that's very much up in the air. Thankfully we tend to get results pretty quickly here. One of my students is also doing Grade 2 that day - she and I will both be on pins and needles until the results come in the mail!
My exam is late in the afternoon on Friday. I think I'll ask my wife out for tacos at our favorite Mexcian joint once the exam is over. (One advantage of living in Texas - it's easy to find good, authentic Mexican food if you want it!)
Edit: fixed BWV number. I had initially put BWV 816, which is a French Suite.
Edit: fixed WTC volume number... I swear I'm not getting nervous!