Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What I'm playing this week

On the cello:

Dvorak, "Silent Woods": continuing to work on this on all aspects:
  • security (intonation, shifts, fingerings, bowings)
  • tempo and rhythm
  • sound
  • mood
Bach, cello part to Concerto for Three Violins. It turns out that I will have to play some sections solo, as part of the continuo (i.e., the rhythm section for Baroque music, which consists of a keyboard or other chordal instrument and a bass melody instrument, which supports the solo line or lines), so I will need to practice these.

Brahms Symphony No. 2: This actually sounded fairly decent at the rehearsal. The conductor was able to find some additional strings, so there should be 10 firsts, 8 seconds, 10 violas, 7 cellos, and I think 3 basses. The big problem will be fitting into the space at the church. We have not yet been able to get permission to remove the first row or two of pews (not usually an issue because they are only bolted down and can easily be taken out and put back in, but the powers that be are not willing to let us move them).

On the piano:

Chopin Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1: I have the go-ahead to submit a recording of this for the ABF e-cital on March 1 in honor of Chopin's 200th birthday. The idea for this recital was to include works other than the preludes, nocturnes, mazurkas, and waltzes; however, a few of the preludes and nocturnes did not make it onto previous recitals, so the people putting this together said it would be okay if I played this one. I learned it three years ago and made a decent recording, but I'm going to relearn and rerecord it. I'm curious to find out how this will go, and if I can do a better job this time.

Recording from 2007:

Chopin Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C minor, WTCII: This is improving every week. A friend came over for dinner this past weekend, and she arrived while I was practicing so my husband brought her downstairs to show her the piano. Since she was already in the room, I played the prelude for her, and it went very well (used the music, though).

Gershwin preludes: slowly improving.

Beethoven Sonata Op. 2 No. 3: I decided to try to learn this for yet another online recital scheduled for December 2010 in honor of Beethoven's 240th birthday. The reason I chose this piece is because I started learning it when I took lessons for a short time from my first teacher's teacher when I was a freshman in college. I always felt like it was unfinished business. It's not so terribly difficult, yet it is interesting musically, particularly for the way Beethoven tweaked the sonata form, and I thought it would be a good exercise in learning something longer (four rather long movements). So we'll see how this one goes.

Brahms Op. 118: I have done very little with this in the past week; will try to at least touch on it in the coming week.

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