Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summit Day 10

Orchestra was long, but good ... It's optional for me to be in Sr. Orchestra, but I've decided that I want to ... I gain a tremendous amt. from it, plus working with Richard Clark is amazing.

I discovered today that the 2nd movement of that Bartok divertimento is absolutely one of the most beautiful things ever written in classical music ... was so cool to play ... I really need to find some time to work on the part ... perhaps tomorrow?

Also had the Gruber Masterclass today ... I played ok, but could have played much better ... I learned a lot from it, and also realized that I am very tense and that I look down at the cello when I play the Elgar (even though I know it ... Steven Isserlis comes to mind... "If you look down, you've already missed the note - because you're not listening"!).

Gruber was great to play for, he had some of the following to say:

-Relax before the shift

-Don't rush the shift, b/c it creates an unwanted accent

-Look up
-Don't tense shoulders - I should practice playing relaxed

-I need to have an inner idea of pitch, melody, dynamics, connection between notes, and phrasing ... and then practice based off of all this ... not the other way around ...
-I need to listen to details (the ones listed above)
-Tell story

-Don't crash, and don't 'Tch"
-Use arm weight by keeping elbow low
-He pointed out that I play very vertically, and that I need to open up the sound at times by being more horizontal
-Economize bow for main melody
-In the beginning, don't speed up the bow in the end of the chords - this makes it harder to retake (interesting, b/c it's the opposite of what Rosen told me ... I like most of Gruber's advice better though ...)
-I'm always pronating, which means I'm always pressing ... very interesting...

-Main melody is in 2 bar phrases & it crescendos to the second bar
-No sudden jumps in the beginning - pay attention to when to dim. & not to dim.

-4th chord, use 1 2-3 fingering (everyone suggests this to me, I really like the 1 1 2 fingering better, but everyone seems to think it is important to do it this way ... the only cellist I've seen play it my way is DuPre ... it occurs to me I try to copy her a lot, which is maybe a bad idea, since I don't have her technique & need to find what works for me/my vision
-Main melody ... it's ok to throw in a slide or two
-Vibrato must be continuous through phrase

Also had Weber rehearsal w/ just Jen ... I need to metronome parts, but otherwise, it sounds really good ... I was able to apply a little bit of what Gruber talked about - particularly w/ the bow ... it helped a lot


Bongshin Ko was really amazing tonight - she played Beethoven A Maj. & a lot of it made sense in new ways - plus her technique is just incredible to watch ... some of her left hand reminds me of Rostropovich (particularly in thumb position ... her bow control & distribution is perfect ... it's interesting to see that she almost uses more extensions intentionally to make things easier ... very unique...

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