Friday, August 3, 2007

Summit Music Festival Days 4 & 5

Didn't get a chance to post yesterday because there was so much going on here...

Day 4
The day started with breakfast. I ate w/ the girl I met the other day & then with my armenian friend... cool company in both cases... it's interesting how I seem to have connected more with the younger crowd (high school age) than the older crowd (college age). But that doesn't surprise me much... all the college kids are super-busy working on stuff and probably keep the themselves a lot (I guess I kind of do the same thing...)

So anyway, at 1:00 I got to watch the masterclass with Nathaniel Rosen... that was amazing!! Here's my notes from it:


-Lift the bow to avoid hearing extra notes
-Control width of vibrato to match the feeling you're trying to create
-to narrow vibrato, touch the thumb lightly to the neck
-you have to control it w/ your ear

Shostakovitch Concerto 1 Mov. 2:

-Floating the bow on top of the string = waste of resources. Remove the word floating from your vocabulary [side note: for me, this was the most powerful thing he said in the whole class]

The Bow has 3 axes:
1 - Vertical Pressure (z)
2 - Proximity to the bridge (y)
3 - Speed (x)

[I added the variables in, but that's basically what he was saying]

-Think of the number of beats for each bow (Budget the bow)
-"Imagination is one of the ways you increase your technique"
-The closer you are to the bridge, the more slowly your bow drags [more friction, resulting from increased tension]
-Bow speed can replace increased force in heavier sections.

-Change bow before "A" harmonic to avoid slop ..
[I didn't write anything else down for that one...]

Tchaikovsky Rococco Variations:

Beginning - While listening to piano introduction, do nothing. Then as it finishes, take your time ... you want to send the message 'this is easy' to the audience. [Interestingly enough, Stephen Isserlis made this exact same point when I saw him give a masterclass... he's going to give a masterclass next week, as well as Matt Haimovitz...]

-Fast vibrato + lifted bow gives the note a "ring"
-Don't go structurally out of tune from E to G# (this is in 4th position on the A string)
-More bow on repeated "ups" removes "icks" from the sound
-Practice String crossings as double stops

Haydn C 1st mov.:

Do the sextuplets/triplets in the middle of the bow... just let it bounce (flat hair, find balance point) [this was referring to the fast section in the third page, but probably also applies to the fast section in the development...]
-loosen bow grip
-it's as if you're playing timpany

-For the C to D/E trill on the A string consider this fingering: C1 D/E24 D/E13
-This avoids the slide from C to D [Personally I really like to play it with the slide]
-In the opening phrase, lift the bow to get the ringing sound.
-For double stops, you don't have to roll them if you play closer to the fingerboard, just use more speed [Essentially the idea was to play on the middle string and allow the sympathetic vibrations to do the rest of the trick... I personally don't really like this approach, but the player was also using two downbows, while I prefer up down]
-Have fun! [his point was that there are of course a lot of lighter and ornamental parts in Haydn]
-You can't bounce the bow at the frog
-For the cadenza-like passage in the development, playing the triplets closer to the fingerboard gives it a nice, darker sound [just something I observed... not sure if I'd play it like that...]


The Student Gala Concert at 5:30 was a real treat... over half the program was cellists and for the first time, I was pretty impressed by a violinist at the very end...

The cello pieces were:
Krumb Mov. II & III
M. de Falla Popular Spanish Songs
Shostakovitch 1 Mov. I
Haydn D Mov. 1

The violin piece was Maurice Ravel's Tzigane played by Yuuki Wong ... was absolutely amazing...

The 8:00 concert was a little less interesting for me, but I think that's just because I was really tired out between all the practicing and watching... anyway, it was basically a Milkis family concert:

Nina Koga - piano (wife)
Daniel Milkis - violin (son)
Julian Milkis - clarinet (father)
Igor Raykelson - piano/compose

The 2 really impressive things about the concert were the playing of 14 yr.; old Daniel Milkis & his father's playing (I've never heard a clarinetist who can project and match with piano and violin, let along drown them out)...

the first mostly featured daniel playing Dvorak, Prokofiev & Kriesler. His father played Hasse & the three played together Gershwin's Ballade for violin, clarinet & piano, in which the clarinet player drowned them out at the end... it was nuts...

the second half, the played pieces by the pianist (Raykhelson) ... guy's got a very cool background... did classical and jazz... I might try to find his cello sonata at some point...

Day 5...

Had breakfast again w/ Georgina (this is the nightwish girl) ... found out that she's actually 14 yrs. old (I thought she was 17) & that she wants to be an orchestral musician (which is the exact thing I don't want to do...)

Other than that, I've got rehearsal in 15 minutes for Haydn & the coach got switched (it's a cellist instead) & then rehearsal for Emil Paul at 2... plus I have to write an email to the president of my college, and I have work later... a little nervous about the rehearsals... wish I could stay for the concert tonight, but even if I could, it costs $30 b/c it's a benefit....

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