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Mendy Smith

'B' Addiction

December 3, 2011 at 2:50 AM

Though I have a new goal to work through the alphabet of composers, I am finding that "B" keeps creeping onto my stand. Bach, Bloch, Bruch, Borodin... over the past several months, these composer's works refuse to be shelved.

First is was brushing of Bloch's "Suite Hebraique" for an audition. Then it was brushing off Bruch's "Romanze" with my new teacher to work on my technique and style. Then Borodin's 1st Quartet (the viola part is so much fun!). And now it is back to Bach.

Every New Year's Day, a bunch of us (30-40-ish) get together to play through all of the Brandenburg concertos for an afternoon. It is an EVENT - pot-luck dinner, libations, and music-making. Of course as a violist, the the biggest part of the EVENT is the 6th Brandenburg Concerto. Anyone who can play viola plays one of the two solo parts. It ends up more of a 'soli' with about 4 violists playing each part with about 8-10 celli and the lone bassist and harpsichordist.

This is the time of year when I dust the 6th off and get it back under my hand for the EVENT. This time however, I have the help of my new teacher who specializes in baroque music. During my last lesson, instead of starting with the planned "H", we worked on "B" - a bit of phrasing, but mostly we just PLAYED both parts together.

It was so refreshing and energizing to go back to something I know well. I did not have to struggle with alot of new technical skills, but instead focus on interpretive skills. Maybe this next week, I may try it sans SR in the spirit of the style of the time.

"H" can wait until next year.

From Randy Walton
Posted on December 3, 2011 at 3:14 PM
Sounds like fun with a capital F!! I love baroque music!

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