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Rachmaninov, I missed you!

March 21, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Not My Violin Self
I haven't been my violin self for the last few months. I've been absolutely sick of practising exam pieces and scales.

Then, I started to post some videos on YouTube. As bad as my playing was, people don't seem to care about my lack of talent and musical taste. They don't seem to mind a slip here and there. So I posted a bit more, and a bit more... after 2 months I've posted 34 videos!

Back To My Violin Self
I'm glad that I've returned to my violin self last week. I'm now eager to tackle Bach, Beethoven, Falla and Dancla again. For some reasons, I'm still afraid of recording myself with these pieces despite having recorded 34 videos already (of very very easy stuff).

I showed one of my overseas friends my YouTube videos a month ago. He asked if he would ever listen to me playing Rachmaninov's Prelude in C-Sharp Minor again. I told him that I hope he remembered it when I played it to him over 4 years ago, because that would never happen again.

That thought (of not able to play Rachmaninov again) linggered in my mind since then. Last night, I bravely took out my Rachmaninov Preludes book and started re-learning the notes to the prelude again. I knew what to expect. I couldn't remember a note other than the first 3 octave chords. I knew it wouldn't all come back overnight. So I patiently read the chords, find my fingers on the keys... one by one.

My brain amazed me. In a day, I could play the first section already! My fingers are still very raw, and my right wrist hurts a bit twisting through those chords... but here's proof!

It looks like it's possible for me to play Rachmaninov again. Regardless of how bad I play, I'm happy enough (for now) to just hear myself playing Him. If I suceed, I might re-learn his G-Sharp Minor Prelude too, my other favourite.

Please Don't Watch
Please don't watch my other YouTube videos. They totaly sucks compared to what many of you could do.

The Chairman's Waltz
I replied a discussion topic not long ago about The Chairman's Waltz violin sheet music (from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha). I've dictated the violin part and so far 8 people have asked for it (7 from YouTube and 1 from It's not difficult to dictate for many of you here, but if you want to save some time, send me a message and I'll send the music sheet over.

Rachel Barton Pine
I've subscribed to your YouTube video. Thanks so much for sharing! Did you record an CD album of Sarasate Spanish Pieces? I have that CD and if I'm correct, the violinist was Rachel Barton (I think). I lend it to a friend so I couldn't check.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 21, 2008 at 5:23 PM
Clever angle, there. I enjoyed your playing!
From William Yap
Posted on March 21, 2008 at 11:11 PM
Thanks Laurie. It is a huge compliment (and relief) coming from a professional musician/teacher.

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Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine