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Kelsey Z.

August 1, 2004 at 5:28 PM

Alright, now what an interesting week. I've played and performed on violin, viola and piano. Viola is something relatively new to me. Luckily I have a fair amount of knowledge of the clef thanks to my compositional interests but getting my brain in gear at first when switching from violin to viola to violin was a little bit un-nerving when you are playing with other people.

The repertoire for the week that I worked on included part of a Mozart quartet and a Handel Air (viola) A Mozart string trio, a Bach violin/cello duo and the Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia (violin) and then a piano trio by Frank Bridge (piano). Aside from that we did some string orchestra stuff and as it turned out had the right number of players, almost exactly, to try out some of the Mendelsohhn Octet. In the end for the concert I played viola in two string orchestra pieces (Bach Brandenburg concerto No. 3 and American Gaelic by whom I cannot remember), violin in what ended up being the Handel/Halvorsen/Welton/Zachary Passacaglia, with additional editing jobs done by the cellist and myself to have it be playable by the end of the week and then the trio by Frank Bridge.

It was a fun week! On Saturday, after the 5 days of 8 or more hours of playing a day my arms were rather sore though. I took most of yesterday off aside from some vibrato excersises and today feel much better, but am planning to not push it too much. I have a couple of weddings that I'm playing for over the next couple of weeks and would hate to be sore and in pain for those, so today will be another semi-relaxing day!

On Tuesday I played the Bach E major preludio in a masterclass for one of the faculty members. The room was horrible cold from air conditioning so I ran my hands under hot water for a bit before playing, in attempt to warm them up. It sort of worked. I didn't play the best I've played the piece but I was satisfied with my performance considering the short amount of time I've been working on the piece and having that be the first performance of it. I got some really useful feedback on it and have to improve my tone and the clarity and ringing in the intonation, so I'm going to work hard on that and apply that to my playing.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much difference such tiny little things can make, like listening to the ringing of the notes and tuning to the overtones that ring when you play well in tune, or how much difference where you are in the bow and the kind of weight applied can make in fast string crossings. So a lot of good tips in the masterclass and in my private lesson.

It's quite hot here, again, today. We are planning on going down to the annual August Faire at some point. I didn't go last year, and the previous two years were not the most fun after getting back from the faire, but I think this year should be good! I wonder if I'll find any good books in the library's booth. You can get paperback for 25 cents and hardcover for only 50 cents! And there are always lots of really neat booths to look around in!

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