I had an interesting experience today. I normally think of the terms violin and fiddle as being synonomous. Today I was visiting the person who does work on my violin when necessary, and as I was playing one of the violins he especially likes, made sometime in the late 1800's I believe, I was trying to play a Paganini piece, and was having a tough time not hitting other strings in my bowing strokes. After this happened a few times, I just made a few ajustments and was okay but wondered what the problem was. After I finished the piece, I was talking to the fellow who let me play it, and he pointed out that he had cut the bridge for fiddle type playing. He showed me that it was cut more flat on top then the standard violin bridge so that chords could be played easier for fiddle type music. He then played Ashokan Farewell for me "fiddle style," and what a marked difference from the way I've always played it, basically as it appears on the sheet music and in conjunction with my having heard it on the "The Civil War" series by Ken Burns. I must admit, fiddle type music and fiddle style playing really aren't my cup of tea, but they are fun and enjoyable to listen to on occasion.
Recently, I was going through my music library as I occasionally do, just going through music which at one point or other was a very good friend to me amidst life's ups and downs, some of which I haven't played in awhile. One of the pieces I had initially worked on a number or years ago, probably in the late 80's, and haven't played in quite sometime is the Bach Double Violin Concerto in D Minor. I can remember especially coming to love this music through hearing the second movement being played in the film "Children of a Lesser God." Today I worked through the first violin part to the Concerto and of course, as always, was especially moved by the second movement. What genius and inspiration in Bach we find.
More entries: April 2008
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