Our quartet had planned to do three full takes of the Death and the Maiden Quartet this afternoon, but after our first run-through it became clear that wasn't going to happen. It's a long and taxing piece, and our first time through was good enough that vast improvements would be unlikely given the concentration required. During our kyuukei (break) before the second run, our violinist offered us some Santa chocolates, asking if we needed "Santa-san." This is my new name for Santa Claus.
We were all a little reticent about the energy needed for another run-through, but deciding we had already won, it seemed worth it to do one more and just have fun with it. The recording is for an application to be in a masterclass in Japan, and during this past week of rehearsals and this recording session, I realized and remembered how much fun it is to work so intensely with a group. We share the responsibility and support one another in our nervousness and apprehension, we create an interpretation together and keep one another honest with intonation and rhythm. We become one another's ears and eyes and hearts, feeling the direction of the phrase internally and seeing if that aligns with what is occurring around us.
It is such a privilege to be able to work this way, and I wonder how many other times in my life I will have the opportunity. Hopefully this type of intense work and dedication can be shared with other realms of life. It's such a familiar and beloved space for me.