January 2005

January 25, 2005 05:09

So to continue where I left off (had to get back into the pit....) the performance went surprisingly well - I told myself beforehand 'this is what I've always wanted to do, these people are my friends and future colleagues, i enjoy playing the violin' and then went up and found myself almost not shaking at all and able to control my bow and actually enjoy the performance - I was sooo sooo happy with it - I made a few hiccups but nothing major and the fact I enjoyed it and didn't feel like I couldnt' wait to get to the end was a big acheivement. Afterwords the strings head asked if I'd taken Beta Blockers and said I'd controlled my nerves remarkably well (me so chuffed!) when I told him I had not. He said he didnt' like my violin, it was a bit nasally, so I'm gonna try out different strings. Most of the time I just stick with Helicore or Dominant as they're within my price range but it's time to experiment. Only real negative point was that I need to create more drama, and contrast, (I played Dvorak Romance), which is fair enough. I was concentrating so hard on keeping a straight bow and using lots of it that I didn't really pay a lot of attention to the dynamics - the strings head said it's like the difference between reading to oneself and reading to an audience - I have to make a huge difference in the dynamics and mood changes of the piece for it to truly carry to the audience. Fair enough! Funny though, the pianist had told me the same thing when I asked his opinion the day before, and he grinned at me when the tutor started talking about that, lol...

Now I have to prepare for a competition at easter. It's one where I don't really expect to win any prizes but am very eager to try and get into the finals or at least do myself proud and play well. Unfortunately I have to prepare a 30min programm which means I've a lot of new pieces to learn this term. Sooo my repertoire is the Bach g minor presto, and c major largo (new), the Dvorak Romance again, Mozart G major 1st mvt (new), a James Macmillan piece (new), and a Kreisler miniature (new) although I'm not sure which one.

I used the new repertoire as an excuse to polish up my cd collection and bought a Kreisler Plays Kreisler cd (I love his old fashioned charming sound - I'm so glad we're fortunate enough to have recordings of him playing his own works) and the Bach S&Ps by Szeryng (can someone please tell me how to pronounce his bloomin name?????). I got the s&ps yesterday - love them - much more interesting and musical sounding to me than benjamin schmitt's recording. I think I also prefer it to Grumiaux but I'll need a few more listens. Tempted to go buy another recording now, maybe Milstein?? Argh I must restrain myself - I'll wait till I've 'listened in' all my recent purchases first.

Anyway I think I'll go back to bed now - extremely tired after yesterdays 9-nearly7 rehearsals plus concert tomorrow so I'll have a Scottish siesta, do some practice, maybe goto the library, then hit the sack. bye bye, have a nice day!

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January 24, 2005 07:16

Haven't blogged in ages! Had a nice christmas, and drunken (stocious!!) new year and got stuck into my practicing again around Jan 3rd. Back in Glasgow now I am unbelievably busy. The RSAMD has a small string department compared to other colleges - and boy do I know it! I'm involved in Falstaff (Verdi) this term and the rehearsal and concert schedule is grueling. I've also had written exams, aural exams, and have two essay due this week and next. In addition we're performing the Mahler Resurrection symphony (2) with Joseph Swensen which is fantastic but oh so exhausting when you follow it with an opera dress rehearsal then a few hours studying. I got soooo stressed out last week I ended up a little tipsy with some friends singing along to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack last week for some light relief; very amusing. Anyway I did my first proper (ie prepared for and volunteered for) performance class last week. I was dreading it but had decided that as I am here to study violin I have to overcome this fear of performing. I always seemed to lose my inability to play in tune, or with any musicality, or any joy, in public. Not anymore!! (my first year ambitions were: learn to use all my bow, learn to use a straight bow, learn to not fear octaves and learn to not fear an audience - I think I've almost acheived all these goals to some extent - yayness)

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More entries: November 2004

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