Sadly, you don't often play pieces more than once or twice in the new music world. Most of the time, we pour ourselves into learning an intricate web of rhythms and timbres for a piece that evaporates from our muscle memory only a few weeks afterwards.
My first experience with Mario Davidovsky was 10 years ago, when I learned Festino with my talented colleague and guitarist Dan Lippel for the Look and Listen Festival. It was a first on many levels: my first piece of contemporary repertoire with guitar, the first where the violist was the highest voice, and the first time I played with double bass in a quartet setting.
We spent hours and hours of slow, fast, and every-notch-in-between practice just to get everything lined up. When Mario came to visit a rehearsal (which always happens when logistically possible) it was just starting to hang together....just. The performance itself was a bracing roller coaster ride as we strained to hear each gesture as it flew by, further complicated by that bathroom-like acoustic particular to NYC art galleries below 34th Street.