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Emily Grossman

Own Worst Critic

November 20, 2011 at 9:16 AM

I spent today playing both parts of some Mozart duos. I'd record one part, then play along with it. Playing along with me, it was funny how aggravated I got with how much I sped up and slowed down. So, I put the both of us under metronome arrest until we could agree on a tempo. Then we had to agree on our intonation. Miss Soloist kept wanting to pull her leading tones up and flatten the sad ones, which sounded just awful. And Miss Accompanist kept blasting out her double stops and ignoring the phrasing. We both had a lot of tension in our playing, which I was surprised about, since I don't usually feel this way when I'm practicing by myself. Something about the pressure of having to keep up, even if I mess up, with the recording device as a witness, really jacks up my flow. I clench the chin rest, and my bow arm stiffens like I'm up to bat or something.

But after a couple of hours, I must say, we were finally starting to get along quite nicely. Note to self: play duets with self more often.


From Bart Meijer
Posted on November 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM
Good for you! I don't dare..
OK. I'll try, and let you know how it goes.
From John Cadd
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM
Fascinating post. Also, you`re very brave.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 9:50 AM
After this evening's duel with myself, I've definitely become my own worst enemy. Peace treaties to follow...
From Bart Meijer
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM
I've done it. Now at least I know what Teacher is talking about ;)
From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Crazy isn't it? Playing with a recording sort of kills the spontenaity, but at least we can eventually agree on the interpretation and tempo. I'm amazed at how much sloppiness my partner thought she could get away with. Who is she kidding? ;)

We're going to methodically work through all the movements from Duos 5-8 and see whether we come out of it on speaking terms.

From Patty Wiegelman
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 2:01 AM
Emily, I am new on here, but just had to write to say how much I enjoy your blogs! You have inspired me and made me laugh very loudly :) Thank you for being you!

From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM
:)

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