Good Tempo!

Sometimes when Billy wanders by the piano he attacks it with whatever song he’s working on. He plays as fast as he can, often getting lost about halfway in, due to the breakneck tempo. I think it’s pretty common among kids to try to see how fast they can play something. Teachers and parents are always telling them to slow down, learn it well, etc. We’re right, but there’s something exhilarating about a super-fast tempo, something youthful and energetic, and when done well, I really like it. The piece I think of is the third movement of the Italian Concerto played by Glenn Gould, who often has that boyish energy in his playing. I’ve never heard anyone play that movement anywhere close to his tempo. If you watch the whole video, there’s a nice scene at the end of him listening to the recording he just made.

Here’s the splendidly done first movement, preceded by a curious cab ride:

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