Thursday, December 04, 2008
We talked about vibrato
Next up in Lesson #63, was La Cinquantaine. A few times at home, recently, I'd begun to feel as if I'd finally somehow gotten inside this music - where I felt as if I were flowing with it, with plenty of time to produce each note's intonation, style and duration, and plenty of time to get ready for the next note, to calmly "reach out" and pull it into the piece. These were no more than fleeting zen-moments that nevertheless left me startled and a little breathless. This morning's practice wasn't quite like that; this afternoon's lesson was nowhere near that.
Finally we spent a lot of time talking about controlling the bow. She showed me how to firmly set the bow into the string and then push the bow and let the tenuto notes taper off, then immediately setting it into the string for the next note, and so on. This led to a review of the hooked upbow sequences in the Breval Sonata. As with my previous lesson, I left with several new fine-tuning techniques to focus on for the next few weeks.
It seems that Lynn Harrell is playing in Anchorage this Saturday night, but I can't go - our cello group has a gig playing background music for Santa on Saturday, and then Sunday we're on the card, briefly, at a high school Christmas concert. Maybe next time...
Even if you play the lower note louder, the listener will perceive the two notes as being equal in presence. It will improve your intonation and make the harmony much richer. It works in chamber music too. For parts in thirds, sixths or octaves, the the lower part should always play out more than the top part, and the player with the top line should follow the lower player with the lower part.
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