What are you working on this summer?

June 26, 2019, 9:14 AM · Have been wondering what my fellow players (vocational and avocational alike) are working on this summer, and where they are at in general...

I know a lot of folks stop lessons for the summer, or prepare new rep for the fall season, so am curious as to what you'll be working on.

As for me, I do not stop lessons, I just do my best to have lessons as often as I can between vacation schedules.

I got passed on a couple of pieces (maxed out what I could do with them at this time) and just got assigned Sarasate Malagueña, and another short piece, which is super exciting for me.

I moved through my last three pieces in four months (four for one, two for the other, and two weeks for a third). My long slog through the intermediate waters is getting a bit more exciting, and rewarding, which is always nice. (Waves to Lydia who suffered for years in intermediate purgatory!)

I finally get to learn left hand pizzicato - YESSSS!!!

Am revitalizing my vibrato too, which is sorely needed. And learning to utilize not just my natural wrist vibrato but arm vibrato as well. Feels very different, but sounds much better (I think, I hope!).

So that's my summer violin plans.

(Along with scales, arpeggios, more scales, and arpeggios, and scales... and the beach, pool, and mountains!)

Replies (40)

June 26, 2019, 9:21 AM · My summer plan is to work on the first violin part, first movement of Schubert's Death and the Maiden string quartet, and on Rode caprice 23.
June 26, 2019, 9:28 AM · Freezing here, summer a distant memory ( but my teacher did give me permission to take a holiday over Christmas , as he said it’s good to take a break every so often.
My Yay! Bit is starting 3rd position,! Which is a bit like starting all over again. I’m looking forward to when I can relax and enjoy playing in 3 rd more , at the moment I have almost blistered fingers from trying too hard .
June 26, 2019, 9:52 AM · I'm working on the Allemande from D minor Partita and Glück Melodie (arr. Kreisler - Heifetz)

For chamber music I'm learning Beethoven Spring sonata and Mozart K304!

I also try to play a lot more piano to understand the sonatas better :)

Edited: July 1, 2019, 7:50 AM · Ice cream. One scoop at a time!
June 26, 2019, 11:04 AM · All prep for the fall... I'm learning the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, which I'm performing with my community orchestra next season (and which we will be reading through this summer). Once we're through the reading session and I can stop being so focused on cramming the Mozart, my teacher wants to start another concerto, which will be Shostakovich 1. For the fall, I need to learn the Dvorak piano quintet (the usual op. 81), the Rachmaninoff G-minor piano trio, and the Reger clarinet quintet. For the spring, I'll be learning Faure A-major sonata, and I'm hoping I might be able to learn another major recital work as well.
June 26, 2019, 11:11 AM · Now a fourth year “restarter” - currently working on improving bow control with son filé exercises (now up to 20”/bow) and renewed determination to develop vibrato. Repertoire: Mollenhauer’s Boy Paganini, Bach’s Air, and revisiting slow movements of Perlman’s Concertino, and Seitz 2 with better vibrato.
June 26, 2019, 12:44 PM · I'm relearning Beethoven Op. 50 Romance (F major) for a performance with community orchestra, and my "working piece" is Viotti 22. I'm also spending more time trying to improve my jazz-violin skills.
June 26, 2019, 1:46 PM · Taking a break from Romantic works to play Barber. Doesn't seem too bad thus far but the 3rd movement is going to be a pain.
June 26, 2019, 2:51 PM · I'm pretty much taking the summer off by default because my son took my viola to camp!

My 9yo is about to start Bach A Minor and is learning Ave Marie. She played in her first string quartet last week (Mozart G major quartet #3, Rondo). She will also be learning her orchestra music for the fall once it gets sent out.

I'm not exactly sure what my 14yo is doing at camp, but when he left he was polishing up the full Saint Saens concerto, Pag 20, and learning Partita #1. He's also playing in two string quartets this summer (Brahms on violin; Dvorak on viola) and playing Cafe Music (piano trio) in August.

Edited: June 26, 2019, 4:17 PM · Normally summers are the only time I can work on solo rep at all, so I increase my practice time quite a bit with rehearsals not taking up a big chunk of my free time. That's not happening this summer. I'm mostly trying to get back up to speed on viola after aggravating the shoulder injury that I've been dealing with in some form or another since February 2018. I thought I'd mostly recovered from it after 8 weeks of physical therapy, and then re-injured the same shoulder playing pickup soccer three weeks ago. I'd like to be practicing regularly without pain by August because I don't want to have to pull out of a chamber music workshop I've already put down a deposit for.

If I can, I'm planning on picking up the Walton concerto again; I first got injured within two or three weeks after I started learning it, and between recurring injuries and orchestra commitments I've only ever had a few weeks in summer 2018 to work on it seriously. At the moment I'm trying to pick a short recital piece or two that I can learn alongside the Walton; right now I'm thinking it will be Clarke's "Morpheus."

Other than that, the technical focus for me is bowing: cleaning up spiccato and up-bow and down-bow staccato when going across strings. But before that I need to adjust to changed posture and new bowing planes, which I'm finding surprisingly hard. I've started working on a couple of the Fiorillo etudes.

June 27, 2019, 2:39 AM · The Devil's Trill Sonata and the Beethoven concerto.

My last conversation about repertoire with my teacher ended up with him suggesting those two and me going ... "what, really? am I really ready to play those??" Still, they're both among my favourite pieces, ever, so I didn't argue too much! :)

June 27, 2019, 3:00 AM · As far as solo rep goes, I'm working on the Bach G Minor Fugue, Paganini Caprice 14, the last movement of the Dvorak Concerto, and the second movement of the Shostakovich Sonata.

I unfortunately don't have any chamber rep right now, but I'm definitely going to pick up a ton once college starts!

I have a camp next week where we hyperfocus on a specific piece (this year it's Brahms 3).

June 27, 2019, 3:07 AM · What I'm doing is reviewing about 600+ pages of scores preparing to conduct about two dozen concertos from Haydn, Mozart, Kabalevsky, Sarasate, Lalo, de Beriot, Viotti, Seitz, Vivaldi, etc. this Friday and Saturday. Lots of very hardworking young soloists, and a number who are having their first experience rehearsing with orchestra musicians each day.

Not getting to play much right now because I'm just waving a stick! :P

June 27, 2019, 3:48 AM · I shall re-work some viola pieces so my pianist children will agree to play with me!

- Enescu: Concertpiece
- Britten: Lachrymae
- Bloch: Suite (1919)
- and of course Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata (arr. Paul Doktor)

June 27, 2019, 1:45 PM · I am excited for everyone! Really nice to see all the rep that folks are working on as I tend to be lame and have one or two pieces not a host of rep, and nothing longer than 4-5 pages per my request.

Lydia - that's a full plate! Wow! The Faure sonata, swoon!

JI - nice!

Clarke's Morpheus has a lot of possibilities with in it - enjoy!

Congratulations Chris! Must be amazing to get to "favorite pieces" level. I'm a wee bit jealous ;)

Rocky - you've got us all beat by eating all the ice cream!

Adrian - I bet that will be a lot of fun.

Jean - sounds like a great summer to me!

Rosemary - yes, you'll get there :)

Susan - ah, well... maybe time to get another viola?

Gene - you're the coolest! That's a lot to review and conduct! Very inspiring.

Charles - yeah! Keep it up!

June 27, 2019, 5:26 PM · Mostly waiting out my tendonitis, playing some weekend trios/duets but not too much to re injure. Can't wait to be able to practice again!
June 28, 2019, 12:04 AM · For the summer, I am in the initial "test-driving" stage of preparing my next faculty recital at my college. The focus this time will be East Europe; stuff like Bartok Romanian dances, Martinu Madrigals, Kreisler Gypsy Caprice, Enesco "the fiddler"... My Summer is punctuated every Saturday by Mariachi jobs.
June 28, 2019, 4:54 AM · I am also taking lessons. Current working on: selected Kreutzer Etudes,
Mozart Concerto #5
June 28, 2019, 6:53 AM · In the summer I spend 5 days a week at the gf's house, and she refuses to have a musical instrument in it! This summer I may be working on ditching her!
June 28, 2019, 12:43 PM · Joel, oh that Enescu is something I MUST learn before I die.
June 28, 2019, 12:52 PM · I hadn't heard that Enescu work before! Awesome!
June 28, 2019, 12:55 PM · Lydia - it is a work of genius, the entire suite. Visually descriptive, and simply gorgeous.
Edited: June 28, 2019, 3:41 PM · All, - I originally wanted to do the Enescu Sonata #3(?) "Popular Romanian Style", but the piano part is a monster, no one locally wants to do it. Then I found, on youtube and petrucci of course, his "Impressions of Childhood" Suite. The opening is unaccompanied, so I can include it on the program. The suite is what I would call literally impressionistic, as if he were transcribing actual bird calls from the nightingale and the canary. The only other composer that I know of to try that approach would be Messian's Bird Catalog,
for solo piano.
Edited: June 28, 2019, 3:52 PM · Yep, that's the third sonata (it's my favorite over #2). The Impressions d'Enfance was the piece of music that made me really want to return to playing. I have such fondness for that piece, it stirs such deep memories and holds a special place in my heart. I hope to do it justice one day.

Enescu has a solo violin piece recently edited by Sherban Lupu, but it is nearly impossible to find as the only print edition of it is in a book of music at the Enescu Museum in Bucharest! Someone here on v.com was looking for it last year which is how I learned about it. I embarked on quite the quest to acquire it, and I managed to do so - but not without effort!
Edited: June 28, 2019, 7:38 PM · My daughter is working on the Schumann cello concerto, Popper #2 and #17, and trying to settle on a Bach suite to learn start to finish.

My son is working on a Brahms Ballade from op. 118 and a Bach prelude and fugue from WTC 1.

As a trio they are working on the first 3 movements of Brahms no. 3, and they just performed the first movement of Beethoven op. 70 no. 2 in the second week of a local music camp.

June 29, 2019, 11:07 AM · Aside from painting/fixing the house and hopefully some R&R, I am focusing on improving intonation up and down the finger board this summer and the Accaulay concerto, so lots of slow scales in the forecast!
June 30, 2019, 3:23 PM · I'm coming to the opinion that my left thumb needs an adjustment in first through fourth position. 26 year bad habit? Groan.
June 30, 2019, 7:09 PM · Just started the summer with Mozart's Concerto 3. Will be doing all three movements and Ysaye's Cadenzas. Will also work on select movements from Bach's S+P as well as scales, posture, right hand, left hand, etc......

And of course will continue being the practice buddy for our 9 year old.

July 1, 2019, 1:27 AM · My teacher changed his mind about my rep this summer a few weeks ago. Initially, I was going to be spending the summer and fall learning the Mendelssohn concerto mvt. 1 and paganini moto perpetuo, but now he changed his mind. He wants me to learn Spohr 8 and Viotti 23, as well as moto perpetuo, and save Mendelssohn for later in the fall probably. Initially, I was rather put out by this, but after listening, I really like both these pieces, and I'm exited to get them ready in the coming time. I'm getting quite busy at the moment though, as he want's me to be performance ready with the Viotti just 4 weeks after starting! Oh and a bunch of Kreutzer too
July 1, 2019, 5:15 AM · I have loved reading what everyone else is going to be working on!

I am currently learning a lot of works by Frank Bridge for Viola. I am particularly enjoying Norse Legend and Berceuse. Additionally, Hungarian Dances 1 and 3 by Brahms. Lots to keep me busy. Oh, and memorising scales for an upcoming grade exam for the viola in the autumn. There is also some orchestra repertoire coming, but I don't know what that will be until a rehearsal in July! My viola is also going on holiday with me to another part of the UK so I can keep regularly playing.

Violin wise, I am going to be working on orchestra repertoire for next year, Suk - Scherzo Fantastique, Berlioz - Harold in Italy and Sibelius - Symphony No 7.

Good luck with the practice everyone!

July 1, 2019, 7:56 AM · Galamian double stops; Bartok dances; Brahms sonata #1 and Mozart dissonance V2. The latter two for performance in August (the quartet is a semi-pro one so V2 is a challenge piece!
July 1, 2019, 6:55 PM · Working on for lessons, chiefly: Ysaye Sonata No 3 (Enesco), and Galamian Etudes (taking a break from Paganini, as Ysaye is challenge for me; never had much interest in these and suddenly developed compelling desire to play No. 3). Also trying to finish memorizing Bach A minor fugue, have been working on it off and on for 3 years. And dug out Wieniawski Polonaise in D for fall musicale which may or may not take place. Am enjoying revisiting it. Practice routine is same year round except no orchestra in summer.

July 1, 2019, 10:50 PM · I'm finally going to learn Flight of the Bumblebee. People ask you to play, but they only have a 60 second attention span, absolute max, so here's to the perfect party piece...
July 2, 2019, 5:10 PM · Suddenly the title of this thread reminded me of the old song, "The Things We Did Last Summer."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRWfc-8wLm4

Edited: July 4, 2019, 1:45 PM · Been lurking for months; finally trying to post. Well see if it works.

In addition to the largely improvised folk material I usually play, I'm working most on kindergarten-level etudes, primarily Wohlfahrt and Trott. Mandolin is my primary instrument; I came to violin about 40 years too late and have a geographically imposed lack of much formal instruction, so I'm not a bit embarrassed to admit hitting hardest on fundamentals.

I find Simon Fischer's Basics and The Violin Lesson help tremendously; many thanks to the people in this forum for recommending them!

By the way, I'm using the term "folk" in its loosest sense here: i.e., anything not avowedly classical or quasi-classical.

July 9, 2019, 7:59 AM · After my final concert of the season this coming Saturday (it's Elgar's "The Music Makers" for choir and orchestra, not easy) I'm going have about 8 weeks free of orchestral responsibilities so have decided go baroque and work on one or two of Telemann's six violin sonatas Op 1. I'll decide which to choose next week.

The recording of Op 1 I've homed into for listening is by Louis Kaufman (look him up on google and IMDb, which is illuminating). This recording is on 24 tracks scattered throughout YouTube (took some finding!), possibly because Kaufman recorded it in the 78s era (was this the first recording of Telemann's Op 1?) and there were time restrictions on how much could be got on one side of a 78. This would also explain why Kaufman didn't do repeats in any of the movements. The playing is nevertheless extraordinary, as befits a star pupil of Kreisler.

The Telemann edition I'm using is edited by Kaufman, who also provides a useful preface and tips on performance.

July 9, 2019, 11:56 AM · I'm working on the Mendelssohn VC, and hope I can buckle down and finish up the 1st movement. Keep going on Rode caprices work on some Mozart sonatas in the meantime.
July 9, 2019, 12:24 PM · Scales... Wohlfahrt's 60's, more scales... Work on improving sound, more security in third postion intonation.
Vibrato.....
Schradieck book 1 and speeding it up! Hopefully.
Just wish I could practice more..
July 11, 2019, 5:06 PM · Morning: Schradieck Book 1, Scales, Shifting up to 3rd position
Afternoon: Fiddle Tunes and Ornamentations (Trebles, Rolls, Shuffles and Cuts)
Edited: July 11, 2019, 5:22 PM · 2 months of
Vivaldi
Ole Bull
3rd and 4th positions.
Scales and détaché bowing.
Phrased legato bowing.
Staccato work.

followed by Charles Ives and Corelli in the autumn (fall).


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