Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back to the Meaning of Cello!!

I played with my old hs Orchestra again tonight. I love doing it. For one thing, the music is almost always fun, and for two, I absolutely love Mr. O, he's such an amazing person. But on top of that, it reminds me of what I'm not. Especially when I get to see my old friends from high school & where they're at and how they've progressed and what they've studied. It makes me value this whole classical music thing again in a way that I don't really get to value it at Manhattanville. Recently, I've had some debate over whether or not I wanted to take time off from school, and also whether or not I actually want to do grad school. Being back home & playing gain is making me feel like I'd be crazy to take time off or not do grad school. I have so much freaking work to do though. Time to start now!!

So back to the meaning of cello. I started practicing again (finally) after seeing Steven Isserlis (I had been not playing for about a month due to all sorts of problems & being burnt out and stuff of that sort ... no complaints there; I needed to develop in other ways, and I'm so glad to have done that.) but anyway, I finaly started a bit of actual practice tonight (with scales & such. i'm finding the challenge is to focus and not lose ight of the music and sound in favor of technique. The challenge is also to play relaxed & constantly find new ways to do this. I know I need to do some callous building. I've noticed with my 3rd and 4th fingers, I don't always put the previous finger down when it would be beneficial. I also noticed that I can use the other fingers to control vibrato in a way that I haven't really done before. I also noticed that even when I'm concentrating on the left hand, my bow still has to move... I have a bad habit of stopping it, which creates tension and interrupt the music ... it seems the trick is to think about both simultaneously, and how they relate (kind of like listening to a symphony, or heavy metal - you want to be able to hear all the parts and more importantly how they all go together)

Regarding the right hand, I've noticed that I have a tendency to remove my 2nd and 3rd fingers, which serves no purpose, creates tension and reduces the tone quality of the sound. I find with both hands, I really need to think of all 4 fingers together. Also I want to quote Isserlis (not verbatim) that on a string instrument, the bow is the primary method of expression - so true, it really creates almost everything. The left hand just allows for some tweaking. I've also noticed, that after seeing Isserlis, my left hand techniques reverted more to what it used to be (getting the tapping noises on the fingerboard, and releasing my fingers in order to stop notes - instead of pressing). It's really inspiring. Once I get back in shape & get some more vibrato control, I'll finally feel that my technique is truly where it could be and that I'm actually fulfilling my potential (which so far, I've never done at school, with the possible exception of my recital).

On another note, Kodaly is amazing (Elgar too, but Kodaly really truly makes me want to push my technique further) & I can hear music more and more in ways that I couldn't before - it's so inspiring.... can't wait for the xmas eve masses. Those should be fun!!

Ostrofsky gave me a copy of the Beaux Arts doing the Dumky Trio and of his trio (when it still existed) doing Dvorak's F Minor - man did they have energy!! (and this is off the crappy internal iMac speaker). I can't wait to put that on my ipod.

Finally, I'm beginning to update my myspace ( a bit more and hope to have a few more recordings, plus some vids up there by the end of the break. Actually... last finally, I'm getting a new case: I'm so excited, especially since mine's been giving me trouble/falling apart lately.

That's all for now... might go practice some more (or go to sleep since it's 2...)

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