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Mozart vs. Sarasate... Mozart???

June 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Hello!  This entry being my first on, I thought I'd jump right into things...  (I warned you!) 

Ever since I first studied Mozart's third violin concerto, I have strongly disliked his violin music.  I always thought it too constraining, never mind that my technique was rather... interesting.  Translation:  much less mature. 

Or maybe it was that one bad experience when my bow dcided to fly out of my hand and break after landing on my hardwood floor while playing the opening of the 1st mvt. of Mozart 3.  Well, after an experience like that, who could blame a thirteen-year-old me? 

Honestly, though, I didn't feel any soul in the music.  Perhaps I was not mature enough or had not put his music in context of the times in general (it's surprising what an AP Langauge course can do in that respect!) but I didn't get it, didn't like it, and I was NOT afraid to tell anyone so. 

Recently, I began working on Romanza Andaluza by Sarasate since I need something to do over the summer having finished my senior recital, college auditions, and whatnot.  The classic inbetween time filled with anticipation.  Or whatever.  Anyway, I was (and still do) have a difficult time working on it.  For all its romantic notions, I'm not at all drawn into it.  I find this very odd... but it doesn't move me in the way that Mendelssohn, Bruch, Vieuxtemps, Saint-Saens, and etc. does.  Perhaps I'm not mature enough to understand it yet, even if my playing is mature enough?  Hmm...

Then, at my last lesson, my teacher informs me that I need a concerto for my college orchestra auditions and pulls out Mozart 4 and says "you can learn it this summer and be start something new in the fall" when I'm with my new teacher.  Immediately, I was relieved.  I could hardly believe it but... I wanted to play Mozart.  What?!?!?!  Something must be wrong in my head... too many post-graduation thank-you notes are dulling my wits.  But no, I have worked on it every day... and every day I find myself enjoying it.  Then again, Mozart isn't nearly as intolerable as it was 4.5 years ago when I first studied Mozart 3; I worked on Mozart 5 inbetween and it was tolerable.  However, this time I'm getting somewhere.  Each time I play Mozart, I can see the improvement in my technique.  I'm picking up on musical nuances that I could find a couple years ago, but I've gained enough control where I can play around with them and make them do what I want.  Usually.


About that, Romanza is pretty much on hold.  For awhile?  Honestly, though, I don't get it.  Sometimes I understand maturation, but this is not one of those times.  However, we shall see what happens. 


From Margaret Lee
Posted on June 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I just thought it was fun to hear about the Mozart #3--makes me want to pull it out and play it again, and wonder what I'll think of it now. My parents had a small collection of records. My sister and I used to put on the Mozart #3 when we did our dancing and tumbling in the basement. Somehow the tune worked its way into our early lives. Had no idea it was a violin concerto until my teacher (when I was in high school, just around the same time your teacher had you play it) had me do it. It was also the time I started to really want to play and excel at violin. Nowadays it seems that teachers shy away from having students play Mozart.

From Bart Meijer
Posted on June 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM


if you search this site for "bunny opera" you're in for a treat.


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on June 10, 2009 at 6:25 PM

My reaction to Mozart is completely different from yours.  I love everything I've heard by him.  To me, the music is more than accessible; it reaches out and grabs you and won't let go.  Hearing Eine Kleine when I was a kid was a significant event in my life.  I realized that I can't sing with my voice, but I can sing with my fiddle.  That revelation inspired me to keep playing the violin for most of the rest of my life.

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