It's impossible to tell if I love the piece because it is familiar, or if the piece has nosed itself into familiarity because of my love.
Backtracking: familiar might be the wrong word. Familiar smacks of transparency, comfort. My knowledge of the piece is grittier, smuttier, stained by performance after performance. At school, fumbling through the notes. That time in Cincinnati with the garret hotel and the wrought iron bed, playing with the man who would later go blind. Playing with my teacher. Playing with my student. Playing with one colleague or another, each of us with our petty tragedies and vain hopes and shaky certainties and brief moments of grace.