I'm relieved to get a break from school, although I still have lots going on: trying to finish an invention for counterpoint, visiting some friends, learning new rep and working on Korngold for this semester's concerto competition. In fact I have a lesson right in the middle of the week on Thursday, so not much time to slack. The new repertoire, which I thankfully have a lot of freedom in choosing at this point, is Ysaye 4 and the Bach C Major Sonata, the last one I've yet to work on and my personal favorite, although that's a hard statement to make.
Counterpoint, or at least the $55 textbook we had to purchase for counterpoint, has been really helpful for the Bach fugue--I read up on fugues and spent a couple hours going through and identifying all the subjects, answers, countersubjects, places with stretto, episodes, etc. It's somewhat tedious work but also fascinating, and it helps bring so much life and clarity to the movement as a whole. It also helped me be more confident about deciding how to break many of the chords when I knew exactly which lines I wanted to highlight. Besides the subject itself, I really enjoy the chromaticism of the countersubject which adds color all over the place--particularly in the two sections of eighth notes with dominant pedal (D for the first section, G for the second), there are some amazing major 7ths and other dissonant intervals and borrowed minor chords and all that good stuff that involuntarily induces you to intake your breath and feel affected in your gut and your heart, with or without the analysis. Of course that happens with a lot of music, and the logical explanations of the composer's clever and ingenious technique will always make sense, but there's also a tangible feeling of magic or divinity (take your pick) that can't be pinpointed.
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