November 2010

Getting to know Mozart

November 21, 2010 12:34

Recently my teacher decided that I should play a Mozart violin sonata. I was not very impressed as I am not a great fan of Mozart. I know Mozart was a true genius and there are Mozart pieces out there that I love listening to and are favourites but overall, Mozart is not among my top composers.

But I knew that I couldn´t avoid playing that sonata so I´m now swimming in the pool of Violin Sonata in G Major K. 301. As a part of learning that sonata I decided to study Mozart´s live in depth. So I skipped off to the library and got a nice book about Mozart´s life and music. I devoured it in a day and what an interesting read it was.

I discovered Mozart´s genius from early on, his life of constant touring and travelling, his family and background, his pursuits in love, his marriage, his money troubles, his friends and colleagues and how he was shaped by the time and culture he lived in. Mozart´s name is surrounded with such mythology and exuberance that it was a pleasure to discover the man behind the name. It was a relief to discover the fact that behind the big name there was a very real, living human being that had his joys and troubles same as everyone else.

I could sympathisize with a lot of the things that Mozart went through and I really felt for him. Mozart suddenly felt much more real and human to me. He felt approachable not only as a genius composer but as a person.

I still have a long way to go to gain true appreciation for Mozart´s music but redaing about him and getting to know him as a human being has changed my perspective on him and I now feel comfortable and excited about learning the violin sonata and discover more about Mozart, the real man behind the music.

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The amazing adventures of my repetoire

November 8, 2010 07:15

Yesterday me and my teacher were discussing my repetoire for the upcoming term as I have an  test next May that equals ABRSM grade 8 and ASTA grade 8/9. It´s was fun discussing the upcoming repetoire and I am feeling quite excited about my upcoming violin term.

As a Baroque piece I´ll play the Gigue from Partita no. 2. I know that Gigue reasonably well by now so I´ll spend next term perfecting it. I´ll also play some other pieces from Bach´s solo violin repetoire to get to know it better. I love Bach so I´m looking forward to diving headlong into his music :)

As a Romantic piece I´ll play the infamous De Bériot violin concerto no. 9. It´s definetly one of the most played student concertos there is but I really like it. I think it has a unique sound and it presents ton of fun technical challenges so I´m looking forward to studying it.

We´re still figuring out the classical piece but it´ll be either Mozart violin sonata in g major or in e minor. Whatever piece it´ll be at last I´ll get to play some Mozart (I haven´t played a Mozart piece in years)

And I´ll be playing the infamous Rode etude No 2. I love that etude. It´s such fun to play and is exactly the kind of etude I like. Fast, challenging and has a unique sound.

I am really looking forward to my next violin term and I feel sure it´ll be both challenging and rewarding and with new discoveries along the way.

I´m off to butchering De Bériot :)

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Facing the giants

November 3, 2010 11:59

This weeks has been really interesting and rewarding when it comes to my violin playing. I have a bad case of performance nerves that I am trying my best adress and this week I had to face the giant that my performance nerves are.

On Monday evening I participated in my first masterclass ever. I was unsure whether I´d attend down to the last minute but it proved to be a worthwhile experience. It began with a performance of Shostakovich 1. violin concerto which is without doubt one of the best concertos I have ever heard. Then there was time for performing. A friend of mine kicked in first by performing a movement from Bach E-Major concerto. It was really interesing to listen to the teacher´s comments on her playing. Alas my friend was a bit nervous but I think we all felt a bit relieved that everyone was slightly nervous to perform. It seemed to give the masterclass more ease. I broke in the masterclass with Tchaikovksy Canzonetta and I am quite pleased with my performance although it wasn´t perfect it was really good and I got several compliments afterwards :) The masterclass teacher spent most of the time teaching my vibrato exercises so while there was a whole of squeaking involved it was interesting and I learned a lot.

And I faced the giant of performing infront of an audience and strangely enough I was not all that nervous and managed to get my heart into the performance.

Today I had an important audition and I passed! Obviously my playing wasn´t perfect and there were glitches I am not happy about but the point is I passed and I am pleased with my performance of Tchaikovsky.

I had to face the giant of my performance nerves and although I was a nerve wrack I did it. I played and I passed. I have always taken challanges seriously and I always think that when I get a challenge I defeat it (call it being stubborn) and that I did.

I faced the giant and won. And that´s a good feeling.

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