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Mendy Smith

The Death of Moldau

March 29, 2007 at 4:48 AM

Thanks to Niel's inspirational reply to my last blog, the viola section in my orchestra has voted re-named Die Moldau to "DIE Moldau! DIE!" It reminds me of a few seasons ago when the brass section renamed Firebird to "Free Bird". Moldau however, did NOT turn over in his grave when we played it for the first time Monday night during rehearsal. He may have stirred a bit, but did not roll over.

During tonight's lesson, we started with Moldau's Death. Joel said that he always wanted to adapt this piece as an etude. Well, he got his chance and Moldau is now my assigned etude with different bowings and rhythms, complete with instructions on the back of the first page with different rhythms and bowings to practice with. It is replacing my Sevik finger exercises for the time being as an exercise in switching bewteen 1st, 2nd and half positions on the lower strings, and string crossing exercises.

Bruch is now in its final polishing stages, at least for the first page. I guess my vibrato is coming along nicely enough that I've been instructed to vibrate on any note that is one beat or longer. Like in the Nike commercial - Just do it! I do not, however, need to polish my trills. Trilling is one of my strong points. Maybe I should try the Devil's Trill next?

My trio group is gelling nicely. We have most of Dvorak's Terzetto down except for about 5 measures in the Larghetto movement which has many accidents, er... I mean accidentals :) We came up with a name for ourselves. Instead of "The Trio Group" we are now the "Dartos Tali Trio". "Dartos" refers to a ligamentous structure, as in cohesiveness (our first violinist is an MD)and "Tali" means "strings" in Malay (the Malaysian language).

From Patricia Baser
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM
I've played the viola, 2nd violin, and 1st violin parts to Moldau-the 1st violins definitely have it the easiest. I had to sight read the viola arpeggios at a kiddie concert once. Not fun!
From Neil Cameron
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 10:57 AM
Woohoo! I've never been inspirational before. :)

Cool name for the trio.

Neil

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