May 2009

Expressing music

May 31, 2009 13:56

Everyone can agree that expression is one of the most important aspects of playing music. Music isn´t just playing the notes, it´s also expressing what the music is saying and convey that message to the audience. There´s quite nothing in the world like watching a musician playing his heart out and expressing the music. I once saw Leila Josefowitz playing the Beethoven violin concerto in concert and it was so incredible to watch. She played with such enthusiasm and joy. I´ve also seen Olga Kern performing Rachmaninov 2nd piano concerto and she was as much joy to watch performing. It wasn´t the fact that they had technical perfection but the fact that they played so expressively and with such joy that one could tell how much they loved they music and they conveyed that love to the audience. It was incredible and they all received massive applaud!

So when playing, the expression is what counts what most. If there is no expression there is no joy and no life. I´ve listened to a person playing the Vivaldi A-Minor concerto with all the notes correct but there was no expression. It was as if the violinist was just going through the motions. Then a violinist performed the Russian folk song Two Guitars and while the notes weren´t perfect it was performed with such expression it was far more enjoyable to listen to. 

Expression is such an important part of music. It is what makes music enjoyable. There´s nothing like performing in orchestra and feeling the music and expressing one´s joy for the music to the audience. Or performing as a soloist or in chamber orchestra. It´s all the same, playing with expression is one of the greatest joys of music. Things may not be perfect and there may be mistake but if the expression and joy is there it´s worthwhile. It´s worthwhile listening to and most of all it´s worthwhile playing.

So expression+joy=true enjoyment of music

6 replies | Archive link

Violin, life and lessons

May 26, 2009 12:10

I just got the result for my last examination on violin and I got 81%! Which makes me really happy indeed :) I got the comment: "Plays with great expressiveness" which makes me really really happy but I did also get the comment: "Work needed on intonation". I did do a lot of work on intonation this winter but I guess that in the test I threw it out for the sake of expressiveness and having fun playing. Which is after all, just as important. What is a violinist, even though he has perfect intonation if he doesn´t play with expressiveness and enjoys playing.I also got the comment: "Well prepared test" which the test was (I played Bach A Minor Concerto 1st mvt. on the beat 40 for an entire week, just as an example). And the number of times I played those scales, oh man! Bud I also got a great comment for my scales which made me happy. I have actually come to love doing scales and hope to continue that love.

The test I took was similar to 7th grade ABRSM and 7/8 grade ASTA. This test qualifies me to start in advanced department in my music conservatory. I should have started a year ago but my teacher postponed until this spring since I didn´t have good enough vibrato. It dissapointed me but it also made me incredibly determined to succeed which I did. Just one of the many lessons violin has taught me. I had advanced enough year ago to take the test but this year I really really advanced and I practised with such determination and I really concentrated. Last musical year I advanced more than I have ever done in so many incredible ways. I am never letting violin go. I once got the comment: "I have the feeling you´ll also have the violin by your side" from my etacher and I know it´s true.

I am going to walk into the summer shouldering my violin and enjoy fulyl every moment I play. I´ve been told that I have a great joy for playing and I do. Technique is important but if there is no joy in the playing there is no life. I am by noooo means techincally perfect and still have a way to go. But I enjoy to smithrens playing and to me that is the most important aspect. I wouldn´t do this if I wouldn´t absolutely love it.

So I encourage you all to carry on playing and practising and perfecting but don´t forget the joy of playing, even though that means the intonationw ´won´t be perfect ;)

From a happy happy intonantionally needing to improve violinist

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Orchestra geek and the rest of the world

May 23, 2009 15:35

Greetings fellow violinists :-) I have always been one of those definite orchestra nerds whom absolutely love spending  their sunday afternoons playing their arms off and then come home complaining of terrible shoulder aches but are stil as excited to attend next Sunday! Playing in youth orchestra gives me the thrills, I jus love doing it. As a side effect of my love of youth orchestra I attend a lot of symphony concerts and spend my time on analyzying what the violinists are playing. However I have found out that just because me and my brother are orchestra geeks doesn´t mean that the rest of the world as, the rest of the world being my classmates in this case. I heard the following comments once during class and I had to control myself not to explode from laughter but afterwards I realized that people definetly need to attend more symphony concerts!

This was comment number 1: " I always feel so sorry for the musicians sitting in the back because they must be the worst players because they aren´t good enough players to be in the front.

Second comment: "The musicians are always so serious when they play, they never smile" This being said in a surprised tone

This still makes me laugh and I am oh so glad to belong to the orchestra world and being able to call myself an orchestra geek :) And I apologize for any misspellings. English is my 2nd language and spelling isn´t my biggest strength.

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