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Mendy Smith

Spending Time with Y

October 23, 2010 at 1:09 AM

 After much contemplation, I decided to spend more time with my first choice of "Y" composers, Eugene Ysaye, and not relegate the Sonata Op. 28 to my "by 60" list.  

This piece is much more challenging than the Bloch Suite Hebraique I worked on a few years ago.  After three months of work on the Finale movement (the simplest of the them all),  I can finally play through the movement without faltering, stopping, and scratching my head on how to proceed, which in and of itself is quite amazing at least to me.  I still have intonation issues to contend with at the edge of the fingerboard and difficult double-stops, and uncomfortable shifts. 

However what I am struggling with most at the moment is trying to develop a sense of style with this piece.  I knew going into my "by 50" goal I'd face challenges playing different styles of music having had played mostly Bach for the past 10 years.  The Ysaye is living up to its challenge.  But by working through it, I'm discovering that I enjoy music outside of my "box" of styles.  Indeed, my developing preference for modern works has become a running joke with my room-mate and stand partner.  "The odder the better".  

I will be spending a few more months with this Sonata, working my way backwards towards the first movement bit by bit.  In the meantime, I'll be revisiting some of my old "B" friends to perform at church.  Bloch is back for a performance soon, this time it will be the Processional movement.  

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