A two-week notice to perform the Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky is not exactly my idea of fun.
Still, I managed to enjoy the process. After all, the piece has been in my ears since childhood.
The Symphonicity orchestra and Dave Kunkel are my longtime friends. Always enjoyed the warmth and easy-going amiance during our rehearsals. David's jokes add a bit of quirkiness, which helps to keep everyone alert.
Rococo is a style of nobility. Refined, pretty, a bit lukewarm. We all know of Tchaikovsky' admiration for Mozart yet Tchaikovsky's own character comes through in a quite un-Rococan way in these variations.
The dramatic effect of each and every variation is over the top. The solo material is rich, I would say opulent, at times even melodramatic.
A nobleman, in my opinion, feels comfortable everywhere, for an aristocrat is comfortable with himself. He knows who he is.
If my interpretation of the piece possesses bravura and eccentricity, poise and freedom, then I have achieved my goal.
Concert encore (improvised with introduction)