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Ruth Kuefler

Mozart

May 22, 2008 at 4:18 AM

Recording. Tomorrow. Mozart. Bah.

I've never been that great at making recordings. Of all performance situations, recording sessions make me most nervous. I think it's a combination of factors. First, when I'm recording, I know that I'll be able to play it back and hear every little mistake. Also, there's no audience! I hate playing to a microphone. It just zaps the motivation out of my playing. I get self-conscious and tense. Not good. And Mozart. Hah. Well, anyone who's played his concerti knows how impossible it is to hide. You can hear everything. I'm not sure how things will go tomorrow. I need the right combination of focus and relaxation that is hard to pinpoint. I think as long as I warm up carefully and try to enjoy myself, I'll be fine. It would help if I 'connected' more with Mozart D Major. There was a point when I got very unmotivated because I just could not for the life of me play this music nearly as beautifully as I wanted. I got frustrated, then apathetic, and almost started to flat out dislike the piece.

Luckily, I had an epiphany that has helped lately. It will sound strange. But I swear it makes sense. Mozart D Major is really an opera in disguise. An opera about . . . bunnies! Do not laugh.

Fine, laugh all you want, but I do have a rationale for this. A lot of the motifs throughout the piece have a bouncing or running quality, which (to me) brings to mind images of bunnies playing tag. Also, the subito dynamics in various parts are like games of bunny hide-and-go-seek. Trills are bunnies wiggling their tails. The development is the conflict of the story, where the big bad wolf sneaks up and tries to eat the bunnies, but is thwarted because they make him run around in circles and get dizzy. The recapitulation is the bunnies celebrating by going back to their games. It all makes sense! And we know Mozart loved opera. Why should we not assume he loved bunnies as well?

Really though, having images like this really has helped me. Having direction and plot, so to speak, gives me a map for where the music is going at all times. Images and objects give me something more concrete to compare my sound and articulation to. And heck, bunnies are just plain fun. As Mozart (at least in this case) should be.

I'm crazy, aren't I? Hmm. I knew those imported prunes looked suspicious . . .

From Drew Lecher
Posted on May 22, 2008 at 7:04 AM
Mozart = Opera with all sorts of characters (like us v.comies) YES.

Mozart D = Bunnies — go for it:-) Have a hopping good time making the music run and bounce all over.

I love the trills:-) What part is the nose wiggling and twitching.

With your imagination, you have to play brilliantly!

From Ray Randall
Posted on May 22, 2008 at 2:20 PM
You'll have to dedicate this piece to Harvey the invisible rabbit. Maybe he'll be there with his family of 6.
I mean 7. Oops, now it 10.
Good luck and enjoy,
From Debra Wade
Posted on May 22, 2008 at 10:16 PM
Great Blog!

I particularly enjoyed it because I'm working on the same Mozart piece.
I've actually been struggling connecting with this piece, but now I have something to envision until my own "epiphany" happens!

I just hope I don't burst into laughter during my recital - I have an extremely vivid imgination.

Thanks!

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