elise stanley

Learning Crooked....

June 18, 2012 03:30

"Flying Crooked" [Robert Graves]

The butterfly, the cabbage white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,
Yet has — who knows so well as I? —
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.

So I started with the Bach Aminor, about 3 years ago. It was hard to play but kept me interested and I could almost get through the first movement.

Then I went to Accolay #1. It was easier to play in some respects - except for the double stop bit at the end. But other than the initial theme, got boring...

Then I tried the Mozart G - lovely music and learned a lot - but it was hard to get it right and I never could get right through the first movement...

Then Scene de Ballet, de Beriot. This was fun and felt like a 'real' concerto. Probably sounds like one too to the non-violinist at least. Fast bits, slow bits, high bits and low bits - not to mention swooping cadenzas. But I didn't finish it cause I fell in love with...

Bruch violin concerto in G. It was spectacular to work on - but unfortunately not possible for me to finish. Specially those high broken chords in the first movement... (we don't talk about the third movement). It eventually became a bit frustrating so...

Haydn G. First one I managed to play all the way through - and even perform it (though its not something I would care to share... :-\ ). Still, it was a milestone and what a way to celebrate a Big Birthday?

Mozart D. Nice change and progessing nicely - until I realized I shoulda finished Moz G first...

Moz G. Definitely easier this time round - but still not performance quality. OTOH I can't think of a better learning piece, I just don't get bored with it... still working on it but then my summer training retreat told me that I will be focusing on...

Bach A minor. I've been workin on this for about 3 weeks - and you know I might just be able to finish it. I'm memorizing this time round too. I mean really finish it, to the point of doing a recital. Wouldn't that be neat. Since I'm as competetive as the next violinist, it was a bit of a downer when I went back to this and still couldn't play it. However, I've discovered that its actualy a different piece. My skills (intonation, timing, musical interpretation) have advanced significantly so there is so much more to achieve, so much more to learn.

I guess thats my point: the notion that there is a linear sequence through this great music is really just a teaching convenience. Sure, you can not play a piece beyond your technical abilities - but you sure can learn from one. On the other hand, you might think you can play a technically easier piece - but you really haven't even scratched the surface. 5 years from now I plan to come back to the Aminor and study it again - partially to learn more about the music but mostly to learn more about myself.

So what will be next? Maybe Oscar Reiding... or then again maybe the Beethoven...

12 replies

Previous entries: March 2011

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