June 2012

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...

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