The Weekend Vote had me searching for one of my favorite viola duets on Youtube: Viola Zombies. With luck, I found it. It is a "Theme and Variations" of sorts to the tune of "The Twighlight Zone".
It is a fun but challenging piece to play as it uses a full range of techniques from col lengo to sul ponticello to the plain old ordinary bowing and left hand techniques involve sans vibrato, molto vibrato, left hand pizz and plain old pizz.
Those techniques are easy to master compared to determining how to interpret what is written on the score, such as "Jerks of Rigormortis" and "Zombie Presto". From what I was told by my previous teacher, these indications are to be interpreted as an acting factor in performance.
After much contemplation, I decided to spend more time with my first choice of "Y" composers, Eugene Ysaye, and not relegate the Sonata Op. 28 to my "by 60" list.
This piece is much more challenging than the Bloch Suite Hebraique I worked on a few years ago. After three months of work on the Finale movement (the simplest of the them all), I can finally play through the movement without faltering, stopping, and scratching my head on how to proceed, which in and of itself is quite amazing at least to me. I still have intonation issues to contend with at the edge of the fingerboard and difficult double-stops, and uncomfortable shifts.
However what I am struggling with most at the moment is trying to develop a sense of style with this piece. I knew going into my "by 50" goal I'd face challenges playing different styles of music having had played mostly Bach for the past 10 years. The Ysaye is living up to its challenge. But by working through it, I'm discovering that I enjoy music outside of my "box" of styles. Indeed, my developing preference for modern works has become a running joke with my room-mate and stand partner. "The odder the better".
I will be spending a few more months with this Sonata, working my way backwards towards the first movement bit by bit. In the meantime, I'll be revisiting some of my old "B" friends to perform at church. Bloch is back for a performance soon, this time it will be the Processional movement.
More entries: September 2010
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