Written by The Weekend Vote
Published: January 16, 2015 at 7:24 PM [UTC]
The last time you picked up your violin, to practice or perform, exactly what did you play? And for our vote, the question is: from what century?
For example, the last time I played my violin, I practiced the last movement of Bach's Sonata No. 3 in C, which was written around 1720. So my answer would be 18th c. If you were practicing a passage from a Tchaikovsky symphony for orchestra, those were written in the late 19th century, so the answer would be 19th c. If you were playing "Allegro" by Suzuki; Suzuki wrote the little pieces for his books in the 20th century, so the answer would be 20th c. If, last night you performed the Mendelssohn concerto, that was around 1845, so 19th c.
You might need to do some googling, but I'm interested to see the range of living history that's taking place in our practice studios, rehearsal rooms and concert halls. After all, this is one of the most phenomenal things about playing classical music: its capacity to connect us to the past, and in such a visceral way. Music conceived in the past can unfold in the present. The voice of someone who lived hundreds of years ago can speak through our instruments. Wow!
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But I've also been playing Holst recently with my orchestra.
Turlough O'Carolan was born c 1670 so turned 30 at the turn of the century. The individual pieces are not dated in the collection I play from.
I always end my practice with either Irish Folk tunes or Turlough O'Carolan.
At this point in my practice I have moved from a traditional style bow hold to what I hope is similar to that used by the likes of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan), but I cannot find specifics so I'm guessing.
The beauty of O'Carolan is determining if one of his pieces should be treated in the folk tradition or in the baroque style. Always an interesting choice, though most pieces can sound wonderful either way so I won't harp on it.
Yes that is the Bach G minor up there, floating through the ancient forest... ;)
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