July 2005

July 30, 2005 14:59

This week, my teacher is having me learn Bach's Partita No. 2. It is a lot of fun. I have not enjoyed practicing in a long time. My teacher would just give me a concerto, and I would think, oh great, this will be a lot of work, but still practice, but end up forcing myself to practice 2 to 4 hours a day.

The first day i worked on Bach, I must have spent 3 hours alone learning the Allemande. Then I began the Corrente. The next day, I finished the Corrente, and started and finished most of the Sarabande. The day after that, I worked on intonation with the chords in the Sarabande. And then Friday and today, I worked on the Gigue.

The Gigue is the hardest movement, besides the Chaccone, which I am not learning, because it would be too much for me to learn it this week.

The gigue is so technical. I started out playing it at 40 bpm. and then sped it up to 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 72.

And today, some parts were still giving me problems, so I went over those parts at 40, then 50, 60, 72.

It is amazing how hard Bach is. I went over all the movements again today, and I had trouble with this one lick in the Courante that I thought I had fixed.

I also am practicing Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart. There are no fingerings written in the part, so I'm having to come up with my own.

I bought the Bach S&Ps on CD, too. I wanted to get Szeryng playing it, but my mom won't let me buy CDs off the internet. I went to Border's, and all they had was Milstein's recording from the 50s.

I ended up buying it. It's amazing that is costs $22 for two CDs of a dead guy (no offense to Nathan Milstein).

I like it. I'm sure many people will disagree with me if I say it is a good recording. But, it is a perfectly satisfactory recording of one guy's interpretation of Bach.

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July 25, 2005 11:05

Well, my friend Patrick, who is a violist, order Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for both of us to play. My other friend, Brian, who plays cello, ordered the Brahm's Double Concerto for me and him to play. So, I am going to have a good few weeks, or months, learning these concertos, and rehersing them with my friends.

If everything turns out all right, I might be able to play one of the pieces for the Spring Concert at my high school.

That would be a lot of fun. And since I am only going to be a junior this year, it would get me ready for next year, when I get to play my senior solo.

I still have no idea what I want to play for my senior solo. I have a good while to decide. I don't want to pick something with a difficult orchestra part, because I know most of the people in my school orchestra are too lazy to practice and don't take music seriously.

Something that is really cool is that patrick and Brian got together and played Beethoven's Eyeglasses duet, or something like that for viola and cello.

But, getting back to my violin playing. have lessons today, later on. I will be playing Bruch Concerto No. 1 with my teacher accompanying me, the entire thing.

And I have one last concerto to learn before i have to move on to another teacher. I'll miss Elana. She's taught me so much over the past two years. I remember where i was when i first started. i had bad bow control, poor intonation, a terrible bow hand, and weak vibrato. And I remember a year ago (when I was 15), how happy I was that I could play Vivaldi's Four Seasons, because those four concertos used to be my favorite to listen to, even when I first began playing violin when I was 11. I first started taking violin lessons the summer before I started high school, so I was 14 at the time. I'm 16 now and I can play Bruch, Lalo, and Mozart (plus a little Paganini). So, I have made a lot of improvement.

And one last concerto. I want to play something big: a popular concerto, maybe something by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Beethoven, Sibelius, Saint-Saens, but those are all over my head, haha.

Maybe I could convince my teacher to let me learn Saint-Saens, or if not that, I could very easily learn Mendelssohn. The first mvmt of mendelssohn is not that hard at all. I was able to sight-read most of it. There are just a few intonation spots to watch out for.

My teacher is Elana Nolte. She's not a big name soloist or anything. She did study from Peter Haase, who went to Juilliard and studied from Galamian. Mr. Haase went to Juilliard the same time as Isaac Stern, which is funny. Mr. Haase didn't have a good bow at the time, so Stern let Haase borrow one of his! Mr. Haase also studied under Henryk Szeryng for a little while.

Well, it's time for me to go.

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July 8, 2005 12:14

Well, I'm almost done with Bruch Concerto No. 1... There are just a few spots in the last movement I need to work on, but for the most part, i can play it at Heifetz speed.

It is an easy concerto, especially since I learned it right after i got done with the first movement of lalo's Symphonie Espagnole. i guess I will go back and start with the second movement of Lalo when my teacher feels I am done with Bruch.

The second, thrid, and fourth movements from lalo aren't too tough. I know that if I learn the fifth movement, I will have to spend a lot of time on it.

And for a youth orchestra, I am going to audition for the Atlanta Symphony youth orchestra, which is the youth orchestra affiliated with the Atlanta Symphony orchestra.

I would like to play the third movement from Bruch Concerto No. 1 for my audition, but I'll ask my violin teacher about it. I know she originally wanted me to play Mozart Concerto No. 4, but I don't like that piece nearly as much as Bruch.

on my ASYO Application Form,I need my high school orchestra director's signiture, but i don't know how I can get it from her. I know she went to Europe, but I'm not sure when she'll be back.

I have to turn in the application form before ASYO will send me the excerpts.

I went to the MYSO of Atlanta website (another youth orchestra), and checked out their excerpts, because they just give them out through their website. it's not hard stuff. there's an excerpt from Copland's An outdoor Overture (which i played two years ago), an excerpt from tchaik's Nutcracker, and Dvorak's Carnival. there's also an excerpt for the 'concertmaster' audition : a solo from Dvorak's Carnival. MYSO looks kinda easy to get in.

I know Patrick got his viola excerpts for ASYO already, and said they were a lot easier this year than past years.

If any of you have any suggestions for what a good audition piece would be for me to play. I know you have not heard me play before, so you don't have an idea of how good/bad of a violinist I am.

But, something I could learn in a month. I have played for 5 years. I am the concertmaster of my local high school orchestra. I would spend an hour or two on the piece a day. I also work out of the Kreutzer Etude book.


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