June 2005

June 24, 2005 13:44

I've had a hard time finding motivation practicing my violin. I was practicing three hours a day, but yesterday, I only practiced an hour. I changed out all my strings last night. My old dominants were nearly a year old. I know some people who suggest changing strings every 6 months, but my teacher always tells me it's up to me to decided when to change them. My old dominant strings had a nice warm sounds on the G and D strings, and a bright sound on A and E. But my new dominants sounds very metallic. I don't like the opening of the Bruch Concerto No. 1 sounds with my new strings. I must admit, though, my strings are easier to pull sound out of, and the clarity has improved. However, it gets anoying having to tune every few minutes. I tried playing Lalo's Symphony Espagnole with my new strings, and the 16th note runs sound A LOT cleaner.

But, Bruch's Concerto No. 1 just isn't the same. The sound really isn't inviting. But, the cleanliness in the high positions on the G string at the end of the first movement are so pleasent sounding.

I don't know, I guess that is just the pros and cons of new strings.

I haven't made much progress on the second movement of Bruch. It is pretty much sight-readable for me. But, It's not the technical aspects of the second movement that are giving me any problems. It's more of trying to find the musicality of it.

And my etude for this week... kreutzer 10, which has a lot of common arpeggios, and if you have the Galamian fingerings for it, then it covers just about every option of fingering these arpeggios as possible.

and for Bach... I am working on speeding up the Gigue from partita No. 2

My goal, is to be able to play the Ciaconne from Partita No. 2 by the end of my senior year. That'll give me two years.

And for my senior concerto... I would really like to play a major concerto like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, or Sibelius, or maybe some other composer, but I would be happy playing something like Bruch.

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June 18, 2005 15:21

Well, I've kinda finished the first mvmt of Lalo. I mean, I have it down, and can play it well, but I need to keep it under my fingers for masterclasses and auditions in the future. This week, my teacher has me working on the first mvmt of Bruch's Concerto No. 1 in g minor. Hopefully, she will be satisfied with my practice this week, and let me move on to the second mvmt next week. Bruch is not technically challenging. The hardest part is getting the type of sound you want. So many times have I had to stop myself and say, this is not the way this note should sound.

My etude for this week is Kreutzer 9, which was a pain to play. My left hand kept cramping up half-way through, but now, after a few days, I can actually go through the entire thing, from start to finish (but I still have some things to fix).

I have been spending a lot of time this week trying to relax my bow arm. I went through a few past Kreutzer exercizes that focus on the left hand, and that has really helped.

I bought a CD of Bruch, played by Joshua Bell. I had never heard him play, but I felt like giving him a chance. However, I WAS hoping to find a CD at Border's of the Heifetz playing the Bruch Concerto, but Bell and Menuhin were the only two I found, and I chose Bell because I don't really like Menuhin.

Anyways, the CD has Bruch 1, Mendelssohn in e, Mozart 3, Mozart 5, and Adagio in E and Rondo in C by Mozart.

I don't like Josh Bell's interpretation of Mozart. I prefer Perlman. But, Bell does a great job on Mendelssohn and a pretty good job on Bruch.

A lot of my friends are gone to youth orchestra camps this summer. Patrick went to one at UGA, and so did Megan and Lauren, a few weeks back, and now Patrick is going to Pennsylvania for two weeks for some camp there. Brian is with Buckhead Youth Symphony orchestra in Mexico! I have no idea want there are playing down there, but I'm sure it involves some heavy, under-age drinking.

And I still need to figure out which youth orchestra I am going to audition for this coming year. I have three to choose from: ASYO, MYSO, and BYO...

I would get a higher chair in MYSO or Buckhead than I would in the ASYO. But, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra has the "snob appeal" (haha) as my teacher calls it.

I have friends in all three youth orchestras. I think my teacher wants me to audition for MYSO, because they are going to so ewhere in the far East as their summer trip. I know that the ASYO, this year, went to Berlin, and played with the youth orchestra affiliated with the Berlin Philharmonic.

and Buckhead Youth Orchestra is going to Mexico.

ASYO, BYO, and MYSO all have professional string players from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that are in charge. But, from the violinists that I have talked to that have auditioned and noy made it into the ASYO, say that all the kids play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Haha, an exaggeration, but I realize that they are saying the violinists are really good. I'm sure they don't ALL play Tchaikovsky. Some play Brahms, and Beethoven, and Mozart.

I talked to Patrick (who is a violist in the ASYO), and he said that the last chair violinist in the ASYO was learning Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, and he said I could play it a lot better than she could, but I'm sure by audition time she will have it down.

My teacher wants me to play Mozart 4 in D, because I learned it a long time ago, and it's very hard to pull off.

The only problem I have, is that it might be hard to recall an entire movement of Mozart 4 under the presure that I will have put myself through during the audition. I do get nerves, and very badly, but I know how to relax myself.

And if I do audition for the ASYO, I get to play all alone on the stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, while people sit in the audience and judge me. Lumi said it a really good experience.

This thing is getting quite lengthy. I'll end it here.

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June 9, 2005 17:58

Well, it is amazing how much practicing slowly and using a metronome helps. I never liked using a metronome before, but now I really understand how it can help me, and how it can help me to try to follow everything my private teacher says. She's been after me for a year to fix my bow arm, and lately, I have fixed it myself, and this past week she was amazed at how straight my bow was. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Well, I've made more progress on Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole the past few days than I have in the last two months. It's truely sad. I do listen to my teacher, but I don't apply it in my weekly practice, and lately, I've had the priviledge of practicing 2-4 hours a day (since it is summer). I want to be a professional musician after I get out of high school and college, and I've taken this summer seriously as a time for violin. During the school year, being in the magnet program and all, I don't have much time for practice, and the time I get usually isn't enough.

Anyways, a new topic: NPR. I have been listening to it for a few hours over the past few days, mainly because I have been bored with my CDs. I bought the Tchaikovsky, Siblius, Walton, and Elgar Violin Concertos; the first two by Perlman, and the last two by the legendary Heifetz. But, I've had them a week and a half and already worn them out. I listen to them when I'm not practicing, no matter what I'm doing, cutting the grass, watching TV, on AIM or the internet, riding my bike.

Anyways, I kinda like the variety of listening to Opera and Sonatas and Symphonies from NPR, rather than listening to my CDs, mainly because my CDs are almost entirely violin Concertos or Caprices or Sonatas, or Perlman's greatest hits.

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