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Mendy Smith

Sight Reading Mendelssohn

February 8, 2008 at 7:27 AM

Tonight my quartet group put away the Mozart quartets for the time being and brought out the Mendelssohn quartets. We played through Op 13. Boy is this a HUGE change from what we've been playing over the past year. Tricky piece!

As usual, we had some nasty page turns we weren't prepared for. Good thing we developed the "HELP ME NOW" look. Once someone gives that "look" someone will shout out the next practice mark/measure number. I had to use "thte look" when I had a measure of rest, a page turn, and expected another measure or two or rests on the next page, but no.... it was several measures of the same note until the next practice mark! (F someone!!!!) This happened to the cellist as well... ARGH!

What was supprising to me was having a solo fermata - which everyone blasted through and continued on while I was sitting there holding the fermata thinking this was supposed to happen ... for a little while. A few measures later I stoped us - was one of those rare viola moments - a solo? YUP! I thought that solo moment was going to be the only one, but NO! There where also several places where the viola started a fugue section solo (more than once). Each time it happened, I stopped and looked around. Did I mis-count terribly? NOPE! The violinists and cellist would then tell me how many measures of rests they had before they came in. I think Mendelssohn had a quirky sense of humor and was playing jokes with me!

We were having so much fun we ended up playing the whole piece from beginning to end for almost 3 hours - without even realizing it. I love quartet nights!

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