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Mendy Smith

Composer - V

January 25, 2010 at 1:12 AM

I was able to check off  "V" in my A-Z composer's goal today.  This morning I performed a Largo movement of Vivaldi's Sonata in A Minor at church with a harpsichord.

It is not a technically difficult piece, but one that is challenging to make musical.  It is challenging to build tension while maintaining a slow tempo without having the piece sound no more interesting than a slow scale.  Before I performed this piece, I experimented with rubato, use of vibrato and sans vibrato, and changes in dynamics.  After working on this piece for a few weeks, I made my first ever independant interpretive decisions and "performed" it for my teacher for evaluation.  It got two thumbs up. 

When I performed the piece in the early service, I noticed something that I've never noticed before.  I looked up for a moment and saw some people with their eyes closed and a smile on their face.  I saw their bodies move in response to the music - from an intake of breath, to the relaxation of the body - in time with the ending of one phrase and the beginning of another. It was a profound moment. 

I also discovered that my stage fright has not entirely disappeared, it has simply changed.  Though I no longer get the "shakey bow syndrome" and lose utter control, my body tenses up, especially in the left arm.  My left forearm was actually sore after playing what can be considered a relaxing piece.  Something to work on.

Now, time for "S"...

From Jefferson Dixon
Posted on January 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM

As far as nerves, it might help to close your eyes for the first few bars of playing. It might get you a little more comfortable. I'm also sure you know that the more performing, the less nervous too.

S starts some of my favorite composers =)

Best wishes- Jefferson

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on January 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM

The subtle audience response to your own phrasing must have been very rewarding.  Great work!

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