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Elegie II

Mendy Smith

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Published: June 2, 2014 at 3:41 AM [UTC]

Its been over a month since I revisited Vieuxtemp's Elegie.

Surprisingly it only took a few weeks memorize the entirety of the piece. The memorization started when I didn't want to stop to turn the page, and just kept going as far as I could before I forgot what the notes were. Within a week after that I could make it all the way to the dreaded ending. A week or so after that, I had the ending memorized as well.

Once I had the piece memorized, something interesting happened. Rather than executing the piece note by note in a rather boring and mechanical fashion, I started to truly play the music. Something within me was liberated from the bond of the printed note and I felt the freedom to rocket to the high notes with sheer abandon. The final lines that I used to dread became a fury of emotion that had no limits.

Why did it take this long to figure it out? I have no idea.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 3, 2014 at 5:49 PM
Yes, the few times I've been able to memorize a piece, I've felt much freer with the interpretation. With it memorized I also can "practice" in the back of my mind, without the instrument and music, and that's surprisingly effective.

But I find memorization of music to be pretty challenging. For me it doesn't just come with practice, I have to actively commit something to memory and make a concerted, prolonged effort towards that goal. I tend to get bored during the memorization process, which can lead me to give up on it. The upside if I persevere is that if I spend enough time with a piece to have it memorized, I've really practiced it a long time and it's much better in virtually every respect.

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM
with me it's the same: i can only start making music, once i manage to memorise the piece. But for Anne-Sophie Mutter apparently it's different. She hates memorising and will very often have the score in front of her. She says it liberates her from having to thing of what to play next and concentrate on the interpretation. She might be an exception?

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