November 28, 2011 at 12:52 AMLaurie's Thanksgiving blog reminded me that I haven't given much though or energy into my Z-A by 50 goal in quite some time. I took a pause from introducing new repertoire to put my focus on technique and practice habits.
I have been feasting on a diet of scales, etudes and finger strengthening, and intonation studies. This work has been a good thing. My left hand frame is much better, I'm developing an arm vibrato (albeit very slowly), and tone production and clarity is much improved. And best of all, the violist who has been living quietly in my head all this time is finally making an appearance in my playing.
My teacher assigned me a new piece: "Chahagir" by Alan Hovhannes. As printed, it is a very simple piece that could easily be played in 1st position by any novice. I almost decided to put it aside as being to simple until I listened to this recording:
The harmonics and bariolage sections are Ms. Adler's own interpretations. The use of Sul C is something that my teacher hinted at. Suddenly, this "simple" piece became a piece to be explored beyond its seemingly simplicity. It is a thing of beauty, a depth beyond the notes printed on the page... if I can develop the skills of interpretation.
I wonder what I can make of it.
It's more of an issue with an extended left arm than anything else. Many violists play with the scroll slightly lower than parallel to the floor. Without a SR, it is a bit more of a challenge to stabilize it left to right because of the larger lower bouts unless you are a bigger-ish person. A lower scroll places it against the body a bit more without needing to raise your left shoulder, depend on how you are built.
Looking closer, it appears that I'm wrong and she IS using a SR. It is unusual to see the scroll so low, but not unheard of.
Sounds awesome. Now I wish I had my viola back.
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