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Mendy Smith

Getting a Handle on Handel

July 11, 2009 at 4:05 AM

My friend Josh and I will be playing the Handel Sonata for 2 violas at the church in a few weeks.  This piece is deceptively simple.  There are not many places that go above 3rd position and the tempos aren't incredibly challenging.  What is challenging is what's required to play a duet and well.  First is the matching of dynamics, the passing off a phrase to each other, and matching styles so that it sounds like a single violist playing the piece alone.  

I was concerned that I sounded "scrubby" and not producing a bell or organ quality that I was looking for, only to find out that from 3 feet away all the "scrubbiness" that I heard under my ear was inaudible.  And to think that I struggled with this so much over the past few years and then find out that what I hear is different from what others hear.  Live and learn!  With that particular concern set aside for the moment, I can now focus on the other stylistic aspects of this piece.  

I'm actually looking forward to the performance.

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