June 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM"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...
Mozart #3, though, I am not sure when and if I will ever play that again. My teacher tried to interest me in returning to it a few years ago, and that was enough to send me running for my viola.
I agree with you that the concept of linearity in studying violin music is probably the exception rather than the rule, even for professionals. I constantly come back to pieces done earlier simply because I acquire additional skills along the way which permit me to give more to a piece. So, Elise, your history makes perfect sense to me.
Now, decades later, I have come to Mozart 3 for the first time and am enchanted. I think it's like books we are made to read too early (heart is a lonely hunter and catcher in the rye come to mind;) we don't 'get' them as kids, but they can be spoiled for us later. Elise, I'll look into Bach a-minor; I missed that, too, as a kid. It's lovely to come to these out of order.
I guess thats a sign of musical maturity and maybe, at least in my case, a bit of sour grapes - the Paganini caprices really are too high on the vine for me, but if I have to live on these lucious tomatoes I don't think I am faring too badly.
Wow, that was a really bad analogy! So bad I'm not going to delete it....
You may want to look at the Glazunov concerto. It's difficult in parts, but you might enjoy it.
For my summer project, I decided to sight-read the Bach S&Ps. It's helping my sight reading a lot. And some of them are very approachable. I don't know why I waited so long -- probably because the mystique around them intimidated me. Sure, I don't play them like an amphetamine-fueled manic -- but then it's called practice for a reason.
BTW, in discussing how fast one should play Bach, I always think that Bach would say "Immer schön: nie kreischend!!" Always beautiful, never strident.
Good for you on moving forward. Good job!
Will I get to Paganinin? I don't know - to do so I would have to solve some technical issues that look pretty daunting. I'm spending 2 weeks just studying violin starting July 1st - how much progress I make will, I think, be a pretty good indicator of my potential at this age... Least that was the grand idea!
But I couldn't leave the topic with John's last line:
"Good for you on moving forward. Good job!"
since the whole point is that I'm lurching to and fro. But I guess there is a forward motion in there somewhere!
Its two weeks living 'en famille' in the villa of an accomplished violinist (from a trio) having private lessons every day....
:) My kinda boot camp...
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