April 6, 2012 at 3:53 AMI literally dusted off Telemann. The student's concerto. The 'easy' one. The one that I thought I couldn't learn anything more from.
Most of what I work on these days are littered with little pencil marks: fingering suggestions, bowing changes, music theory in the margins... but the Telemann was surprisingly pristine. Only a few bowing changes and not much else. The lack of markings hinted that this was indeed a very simple piece. This piece, however simple, was not only going to be dusted off, but polished to a fine sheen.
Over the course of the week I worked on the first two movements, dredging up memories of childhood viola lessons: which notes were held to full length, those that were shortened, when to play at the tip or frog, tempos, baroque trills, and so on. After a week, I exhausted my memory and was as ready as I could be for a lesson on a piece I hadn't touched in decades.
At my lesson, I played the first movement without a single interruption from my teacher, then mentally prepared myself for what was sure to come next. What came next was an in-depth analysis. How should I be using the bow to get the 'color' I wanted? Where exactly in the bow did I want to be for a particular note? How much bow did I want to use and at what dynamic? Should this note be held just a tad longer? What about that trill? And oh, here are some ornaments to consider, and think about a cadenza...
Nope, not easy.
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