Or let it rain? Hmm.... I guess I'll have to mentally gear up for the possibility that all the beautiful snow that's fallen since Christmas, will all be ruined by the end of the week with the predictions of warmer tempretures, just warm enough to let it rain and melt the snow. *weep* I love this beautiful white stuff and all the cold weather! There's something enjoyable about being bundled up with a scarf, mits and warm coat walking around town as the snow falls or when the sun is out making everything so brilliant and bright, or with a hot chocolate in hand as you sit and wait for the bus. I love it and I'm not ready for it to leave yet, please weather....just one more week of it??? Please?
I'm really excited! On Wednesday I begin rehearsals for this weekends symphony tour. We have 3 concerts and an open dress rehearsal which is basicly a concert where we don't have to adhere to the concert clothes rule. It's a fun program, though rather eclectic. Arvo Part's Fratres, Hovahness' Symphony No. 6, Respighi's Trittico Botticeliano, and then two Mozart divertimenti, K 136 and 138. So a rather strange mixture, but fun program none the less. I just finally received the remainder of my music on Saturday, which was good. I started seriously to work on everything yesterday, and overall it's coming along really well. I think the thing I'll need to focus on most will be the Respighi, particularly the first movement. It's quite fast and challenging.
A couple of really exciting things happening a couple weeks after the symphony tour is a piano benefit concert. I'm playing a bunch of duets and at least one piano quartet. I'm right now also wavering as to what piece to do for a solo. I am trying to decide between the Andante from Beethoven's Pastorale Sonata or Greig's Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. If anyone has any insight as to which, feel free to e-mail me or comment. Both are a lot of fun and I'm equally comfortable with the two pieces. The Greig might be a more suitable piece as it's more light hearted. Hmm...I'll keep thinking on that.
I finally have a Bach picked out for the piano! The A flat major prelude and fugue from book one. It's a lot of fun, full of life and personality. I've had a hard time finding one that I really like that you don't hear very often or that my siblings haven't played, but after narrowing down to this one and one in d minor I really took a liking to this one.
On Friday I was in Vancouver for a concert and a lesson. I got to see the Borealis String Quartet. They were really good. They played three pieces, two contemporary works by Canadian composers Imant Raminsh and Stephen Chatman and the Ravel String Quartet. Imant Raminsh's work was really amazing! It was written to the memory of a friend of his, and someone I have been in direct contact with myself. The friend had been shot by an angry coworker who had been laid off from his job. The emotion and power behind the work was amazing and the quartet did a wonderful job of the piece, I'm really looking forward to hearing it when it's broadcast on CBC radio later this year.The Chatman piece was really neat, it had a guest pianist playing. Again, wonderful playing by the quartet and it was cool to hear the composers introduction to the piece before they played it. The Ravel, well it's one of my all time favorite string quartets from the popular repertoire and it was just pure fun to watch them play it and hear the wonderful skill in their ensemble playing, flowing directly into each others playing and imitating it so perfectly it was hard to tell which instrument had the theme or part that was most dominant.
The main reason I was in Vancouver was for a lesson with Jasper Wood. It will never cease to amaze me just how many things there are to learn about playing the violin and to master before you can become a really good player. It was a really excellent lesson. I learned a lot and have so much stuff to work on! Jasper Wood's patience with me was greatly appreciated and he has a really compatible approach to teaching for me. It was a highly motivating lesson and I'm looking forward to working on and mastering the things we worked on. He had some really good comments/suggestions on fingering and noticed right away my dislike for vibrato with the 4th finger.
I have all my music festival competition repertoire picked out and entered now, so the pressure's on! I'm one piece below the limit. I've usually only entered 2 or 3 things in the past, but this year I'm in 7 classes. Vieuxtemps Souvenir d'Amerique, Beethoven Sonata No.8, Barber concerto, Bach Sonata No.3 (Largo), Kulesha Caprice No. 1, Robinovitch Adieu Babylon and sight-reading. That should keep me busy for the next few weeks. Right now I'm trying to prioritize as to which pieces to do by memory. The Bach and Kulesha are already memorised, the Beethoven doesn't need to be memorised, and both the Viextemps and Barber are at least partially memorised. I'm thinking if I can get the Barber and Vieuxtemps memorised, then I won't worry too much about the Adieu Babylon, as it's a challenging contemporary work that's very easy to get mis-guided in, much like Bach. You modulate wrong and you end up in the wrong spot. I'm sensing much mental practicing will be going on the next month and a half to prepare for this.
On that note (no pun intended) I think I will head off and get ready to teach and maybe squish in some practicing before my student arrives.
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