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Mendy Smith

Moving Onwards and Upwards

May 22, 2008 at 5:07 AM

The intense pain has lessened. But it is still there. It has been good to stay very busy with such good friends and support from everyone.

Lesson night once again. This one really picked up my spirits, and had me smiling and laughing once again.

Warmed up with two minor scales. Then some Kreutzer bowing exercises - spicc. and legato alternating between runs of 4 notes. Each note either two bows or 4 bows per note. I got a little impish and played some of my orchestra music from memory using the bowing technique he just taught me. He questioned the dynamic - but I told him it is SUPPOSED to be p! :)

And then - the Sonata. We reviewed the fingerings for the 32 apreggios on page 4. He suggested some new fingerings. I showed him what I came up with (little half positions) - he called my fingerings "guitar-style" - but "impressive". Whatever works for these finger gymnastics at the moment. I have a homework assignment to try two alternate fingerings to see what works best for this section.

Then, back to page 1 for a play-through (with occasional stops). First stop was a measure after the fermata. I recieved a "WOW", "GREAT", and "I liked what you did on that measure after the fermata". Blew my mind away! A few corrections for staying ON the string, and fine tuning of expression. Moving on to the last half of page 1 without interruptions.

Page 2: a correction on where to start on the bow (middle not tip). Then some work with the tempo on the first few lines. We worked some on how to speed up (stringendo) in two measures, and changed some fingerings. I played through to the end of the page and got a "thata girl" on the last two lines! Then back to the beginning of that page to work on an expressive shift. (Buri - you and I talked about this one in that shifting discussion). Somehow, I still do not know how, I managed a good solid vibrato on the C string with my 4th finger.

Page 3: Just played the first few lines (the middle is the same as on page 1). Changed fingerings again to use harmonics on a high A instead of fingered (the following note is a high E harmonic).

Page 4: first few lines and last few lines (minus the 32nd note arpeggios). A little work on dynamics, and a small intonation issue on the last double-stop, and the D# that is really a E-flat. It was a mental thing.

Verdict from Joel? Rhythm is MUCH improved - dramatically so. He was happy to see me experimenting with dynamics already. The 4th finger vibrato on the C string impressed him - he was actually quite excited about that one note. I confessed that I had no idea how I did it, and that it just happened spontaneously.

I think that Hacker went to heaven, sat in Rebecca Clarke's viola case, listened to her play, and then told me her viola secrets in my dreams. That is my story, and I'm sticking with it.

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