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Almost an Anniversary

Juergen L. Hemm

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Published: November 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM [UTC]

Yesterday, I had another session with my ACMP quartet friends. We planned on tackling Mozart's KV 575. As a habit, I record the date and company whenever I play a piece for the first time, therefore I saw from my part that we had played this piece on our very first session (exactly eight years and two months ago).

Back then, the 1st violinist said she wanted to play Mozart # 8 so I bought the corresponding music of Mozart's early string quartets. As I learned about the misunderstanding, I was shocked. Having restarted taking violin lessons just months ago after a decade-long hiatus, I was very challenged by playing a late Mozart quartet prima vista. Anyway, my then new found partners supported me with patience, understanding and their own sterling technique and rhythm, so I (and more or less the work, too) survived, even getting in some beautiful sounds in the easier parts.

We were amazed that our musical partnership has already lasted for so long. After Elgar's "Salut d'amour" as a warm-up, we proceeded to KV 575. This time, I did not come unprepared. On top of some time in the practice room, I had immersed myself in the sound of the work by listening to a recording during my commute during the last few days. Plus, eight additional years of lessons, practicing and playing in various settings had not been in vain.

While still far from perfect, I was a much better partner this time and enjoyed myself a lot more. Also, my friends assured me that my playing had "matured" considerably since the last time we played the piece, notably was I now able to play the accompanying 1/8s not only correctly, but also in the appropriate dynamics.

Afterwards, I told them about my recent vacation in Tuscany, especially about the dearth of music stores in the area.
Pieve di Santa Maria e San Leonardo

Next time, we plan on playing Elgar's string quartet, which our violist has already played with another group. This morning, I ordered the sheet music (score and parts) as well as a recording. No unpleasant surprises this time ;-) .

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