December 2006


December 15, 2006 14:39

While reviewing a video of myself playing Autumn with orchestra last night (concert was last Wednesday), it suddenly struck me that I play with a relatively high bow arm. Not extremely high, but nevertheless fairly high. Since when? And why? o_O

Whoever enlightens me on the right arm gets a tin of prunes...

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Recitals and Amaury Coeytaux

December 6, 2006 13:25

There are three types of recital advertisements:

1. Those that list the entire program, with the full official titles of all the pieces, including opus number.

2. Those that say, "Includes works by Brahms, Kreisler, and Debussy."

3. Those that only give you the name of the violinist and accompanist. Who knows what we're playing? Not I.

I prefer the latter. Interestingly, I've found that even in the case where no program is given to the audience beforehand, it is possible to predict at least one of the pieces played. It always includes either at least one of two pieces. Beethoven Sonatas are essential, but the sonata chosen is nearly always the one in F Major, the Spring. Never the rather tasty first sonata or even the infamous 9th, but alway the 5th. Why though? Variety would be nice. Sure, the Spring's beautiful and I love it, but if I have to hear it one more time...

Another one of those pieces that are catchy until about the fiftieth time when you just want to rip your hair out is the Romanian Folk Dances. Okay, so it's flashy and the harmonics are the best thing next to carrot cake, but must every person play it?

I was at a recital last Sunday, given by Heasook Rhee and the French violinist Amaury Coeytaux (Who currently studies with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at MSM on full scholarship). His program started with Brahms, followed by the Beethoven 5 *surprise, surprise*, Intermission, Ravel Sonata (to replace our good friend Bartok) and ending with the Intro and Rondo Capriccioso. I thought that it was a rather well planned program, well played, and ended with just the right amount of flash. His eyes were just the grandest thing to watch as he played-- they seemed to coax you into a trance and lull you into the music. He was without shoulder rest and held the violin very much in front. His last piece was played with such force and grace, a strange but delightful mixture. I especially liked his bow control which was superb, adjusting to near the fingerboard and on the bridge, whenever necessary. When the Saint-Saens ended, the audience rose and burst into applause, something rare for such a intimate recital. Amaury Coeytaux was called back and he and Rhee gave the Polonaise in D by Wieniawski as an encore.

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