School starts on September 7th, and I start a 5 day symphony tour on the 8th, which should be fun to see how it all works out. Luckily how my courses lay out, I won't have to miss classes, maybe just half of one class to acomadate travel time for rehearsals on the one day, but other then that, I don't have to worry about it conflicting. I'm excited about the program we are playing. I'm not a huge fan of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, but I think the experience of playing it will be a great deal more enjoyable then listening to it for the ---ousandth time. We have a cello soloist coming to play Tchaikovsky's Roccoco Variations, which is a piece I am not at all familiar with and then for one more piece, to add some definite variety to the program, Rautavaara's Cantus Arcticus (concerto for birds and orchestra). It's a really neat piece, it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to it. I played a clip of the second movement for a friend and she said that it kind of creeped her out how birdlike it sounded, and that it would have scared her even more to see it in a live performance with all those sounds coming from the stage. Hopefully most people will find it intriguing and interesting, and will find that they enjoy the work.
Solo practice has been going well overall. Yesterday I was a bit stingy on the practicing but I did get a bunch of harmony done and got some other things done around the house. I even made myself a chicken, noodle stir fry!
I was reading an article this morning on memorization and performances. It was titled "to memorise or not" and I think it raised more questions then answers. It's an interesting concept though. I personally from a listeners point of view like the performer to use music in a chamber setting, as it seems to make everyone in the audience more at ease and I think that often the performers have a lot of what's on the page in front of them memorised, so it gives them that fall back barrier should something happen, but ultimately gives them more freedom to play off the other performer(s) on stage. For concerto performances, I don't really have a preferance as to whether or not they use the score. I personally, when having soloed with an orchestra, have used the score in rehearsals, other then the last, dress rehearsal, then left the score away, as I feel pretty comfortable playing by memory, but as for watching, I could really care less, whatever makes the performer on stage the most comfortable and gives them the ability to deliver and exciting performance. When I do recital type programs, some piece you have to memorise because you aren't going to have two or three stands out there to accomadate page turns in a piece where there are no rests (like the Vitali Ciaccona), but for Sonatas and things, I like to have them mostly memorised, if not completely then having the music there for the same purposes as I mentioned above. It's an interesting thing though. Is it better to have it all memorised and play by memory, should we ban the music from the stage? I like what the article mentioned about a sonata recital..if the violinist/cellist plays the sonatas by memory, should the pianist as well? hmm...often times the piano part is even harder then the violin part, so is that fair to expect them to memorise if you memorise? ah well...to each his own! :D
Now I'm going to turn off Coldplay and start doing something constructive. (Is that my Carl Flesch scale system and Rode Caprices calling me from my music stand?) It's cooler today, and everything feels pretty fresh outside, so I think today is going to be a good day!
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