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Mendy Smith

An Advanced Study of Romanze

December 4, 2007 at 4:27 AM

Over the past week, I have moved into a very focused study of Bruch's Romanze to prepare for the concerto competition in the middle of January. After my teacher and I blew the dust off this piece last week, I've been focusing on the last few troublesome spots.

I was having problems with getting the double stops (triplets into eighth notes) sounding the way that I like - smoothe and flowing, almost like melted butter. I discovered (after many hours) that I was putting a slight pause after the triplet before going into the eighth notes, thus breaking up the phrase where I shouldn't.

Then, on to tackling a rest held to long in m39. It is a down-down bowing at forte, so there is alot of distance to travel to get back at the frog again. I shortened the preceeding note by a hair to let it ring while I got back to the frog again.

M81-84 has given me fits for months - who the heck came up with accidentals like C-flat with fingerings that are just as strange?!?! I worked these slowly note by note with my tuner (before anyone lectures, it is a strobo-flip and has settings for perfect beatless 5ths!!!)several times until I felt comfortable playing G-flats with my 3rd finger and C-flats with my second finger. The last measure in this trouble-spot was eventually solved by FINALLY recongizing the intervals (I think it is called an augmented 5th?!?!?) At anyrate, I know the relationship now....

Final problem: There is this one section (m58-63) that have these runs of 8 notes per beat, 7 notes per beat, 9 notes per beat back and forth. Firstly, just getting this many notes per beat leaves me skipping a few notes at tempo. Going DOWN the scale is simple (just lift the fingers), going UP the scale is an entirely different problem (placing fingers)! Secondly, even after slowing the tempo down from 69 down to 40 in this section, I'm having problems with making these small differences actually different. I'm tending to play ALL of it at 8 notes per beat. I've tried finding (or making up) a few mnuemonics to help, but haven't been able to come up with any phrases or words! ARGH!!!!

Guess what is going to be the focus of lessons this week?

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