Saturday, August 04, 2007

 

Summer Music Festival


The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra's Summer Music Festival so far... I've been able to get to three luncheon concerts (one was ours) and last night's concert presented by the festival's guests, The Southwest String Quartet (from Tuscon), and "friends" Maria Allison (piano) and Mark Wolbers (clarinet). A great show... Next week will be another round of luncheon concerts, culminating in a full concert Friday night by the KPO.

Months often pass without any opportunity to experience this kind of live music locally, then for just two weeks we're immersed in music. Sadly, few people around here take advantage; Friday's concert attendance being a case in point. Still, I guess I should be glad there's at least enough local interest to keep the KPO in business.

Anyway, lots of motivation for me...

My new Jargars are so smoooooth and mellow. It only took a day or two to get used to the differences. I have to use quite a bit more force on the C-string, for example, but I do like the results. It took a while to restart my routines after the week-long break to focus on our library concert, but now I'm moving forward again. After warming up each day, I start with one of the older pieces and work only on its trouble-sections... beginning with the trickiest note-pair (usually a shift or extension) and expanding to the entire phrase. After fifteen minutes or so, I move on to the current lesson pieces.

I'm still playing everything slow, slow, slow - trying to make sure that rhythms, intonation and dynamics are all sorted out before picking up speed. It's tough, though, to listen to those dang Suzuki CDs and hear everything played at such a rapid tempo - those d-minor scale runs in the middle of the Lully Gavotte for example.

I've started listening to the Boccherini Minuet (#3 in Suzuki 3), and have been working on its rhythms, without my cello.

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