February 2014

Vivaldi Playthrough

February 9, 2014 11:40

First of all, my auditions last Thursday went okay! Some of the intonation wasn't that good because I was nervous, and the chords in my Hungarian Dance didn't speak like I wanted them to, but otherwise, I think it went fairly okay. I'll have to wait and see what happens next Friday!

This morning, from 11am-12:20pm, I had my violin out and was playing basically nonstop. I spent the first thirty-five minutes or so actually practicing, one piece being the Violin I part of a violin duet I wrote and am playing with a friend in March. I also played through two pieces with violin solos in "The King of the Aliens" - one I call the "Monhán Theme" (when you see the film it'll make sense), and the other is actually the violin I and II sections of a "Travelling Theme" (I wanted the violins to speak out above the orchestra, so I'm planning on recording with my violin along with the orchestra). Sometime in the spring, probably after April, or in May, I'm going to be spending hopefully a whole day with my violin and recording all of these violin solos for a recording session, playing with the MIDI orchestra. So that'll be tons of fun! But, of course, I really want these solos to sound good, so I've gotta practice. :) I'm planning on writing one more violin solo that'll be really difficult with the timing of the film, but I'm sure I can work it out.

Anyways, I spent the remainder of my time playing through all three movements of Vivaldi's "Winter", the first and third of "Spring", and the first of "Summer" (then my arms really started to hurt from all the fast notes so I decided to take a break). Last year, especially, was when I really got into Vivaldi's Four Seasons, doing a project on "Winter" (I love watching that video from time to time!). All of these concerti are really amazing, and so famously Baroque. While I do like playing the concerto of the season it really is, it's still fun to just play through all of them, since it doesn't really matter. Anyways, just thought I'd share a little of that. :)

And it was also a lot of fun researching Vivaldi's life. I have a book about the Fifty Greatest Composers from the Baroque era through the 20th Century, too, so it's really neat to just sit down and read through them. So... yeah!

Sorry, I don't really know what to title this, so... :)

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Debussy - Violin Sonata

February 2, 2014 11:24

Today, after running through audition music (they moved it back to this Thursday because of a couple of 'cold days'... will this winter ever end? The groundhog has probably determined that!), I played through Debussy's Violin Sonata to begin practicing for the sight-reading portion of the audition, which I didn't prepare for last year so much. I've also played three Debussy pieces on piano ("Claire de Lune", "La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin", and am now learning "Deux Arabesques"), so I kind of knew his style - full of vibrant, rich colors and very, very Impressionistic. My piano teacher once told me she pictures his music as the ocean waves, coming to and fro. (So yesterday, I wrote a piano sonata myself called "The Waterfall in the Forest" that has a very Debussy-esque style, in my opinion, and this helped me to work on Ebonique's Theme this morning, which maybe now hints at Debussy's style a bit.)

But I am getting off-topic, because when I played the piece on violin, not only did I have to generally interpret some of the tempo markings (Like 'Appassionato' or 'Fanntasque et léger), but there were a lot of crazy time changes and the like. Like 'Claire de Lune', the piece overall had an almost free-time about it. Being a violin sonata, the violinist only backed by piano, it seems fitting he should be able to move the tempo as he chooses. But the colors and various changes of tone and mood throughout the piece, with crazy accidentals always throwing me off but leading somewhere, and the different articulations and bowings to interpret (not to mention all the 8vas... ugh)... This was a lot of fun to play, and added so much interpretation, it would make a fun piece for Solo and Ensemble, for next year... Maybe. Anyways, just wanted to get that out there. So much French! :)

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