armtuk: Cheetah (Playing Violin)
Tonight I managed to limp my way through the whole first movement along with Itzhak and his Orchestra. I am dead pleased. I dropped in a couple of places, but picked it back up again within a bar or two. Still much work to do, but I can at least hit most of the notes in a row. My hand started aching after that so I stopped, though I would really like to play along with the second and third movement. I've been practising the wild string crossing bit in the third movement which I just find awesome, although on all the recordings I've listened to (three so far) all you really hear is the soloist hitting the E string and some indistinguishable notes in between, which is sad really because the notes are so pretty. Maybe it's attributable to newer steel strings where an open string now sounds so bright it drowns the other strings where you are in around 5th position and so it sounds a bit muted, even on Itzhak's Strad. I wonder if there was a recording of a person on a baroque violin with gut strings it would be different. I'll have to see if I can find John Holloway doing it, he usually plays a baroque violin.

Violin

Aug. 14th, 2008 01:27 pm
armtuk: (violin)
Yesterday the music minus one type CD arrived of the Mendelssohn violin concerto. I was very excited to get this, as right now the Mendelssohn is my running favourite. I got it ripped onto my computer, and then started it up and tried to play along. After the first section, I quickly realised that the real thing is quite a bit faster than I had imagined somehow, and I was having extreme difficulty keeping up. It was fun though to play along with an orchestral accompaniment. I'll have to work on getting it up to speed more over the comming days and weeks. Eventually I would like to record myself playing it and post it. I can just about make it through the first page at this point, but I'm slow. The second page is not much easier, but I think I can learn it fast. The only other thing I have to do is learn it from memory so I can play it without the music.
armtuk: (violin)
I dreamt all day today of playing violin. I worked a bit, and played a bit. Got some good practice in. My double-stops are starting to come together a bit. I haven't dared brave the three octave scales and double stop scales yet, but I think I am going to have to work on those very soon.

For a bit of history. I found a link to Tambourin Chinois, which was the piece I played at my A-Level recital on violin. I am a far away cry from that today, but I bought the music over, and I'll get it back up to scratch soon I hope. Just have to find a pianist to play with.

I'd love to be able to go around primary schools (think elementary schools) doing recitals, get children interested in playing violin and other string instruments. Most schools seem to focus on wind and brass in this country, and that seems a bit of a shame. I'm trying to think who is going to be the star violinist of the next 30 years, Perlman isn't getting any younger. We have Joshua Bell and Anne Sophie Mutter, but nobody with the presence of Itzak Perlman, or the charismatic boldness of Jascha Heifetz.

I have sort of fallen in love with Heifetz' playing, a soloist I think my father didn't like so much. He seems to rush a bit, which I've always had a bit of a habit of myself, but his playing is bold, and daring. It's very passionate and intense, focused, and powerful. All the characteristics I would like in my playing.
armtuk: (violin)
Last night I was on my way home. [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com]Had found that the Kit movie was going out of theatres, and we had to go all the way to Downingtown to find a theatre that was still playing it. This meant that I would loose about 3½ of time, but it was worth it to get Riordon to see the Kit movie. I thought to myself, I'll get home, and play violin for about half an hour, then do that bit of work that I need to do.

Well. I got home. Picked up my violin, and the passage of time ceased to mean anything. I played for over two hours before I put the violin down and asked [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] how long I had been playing for.

Now I am at work again, and all I can think about is practicing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and playing double stop exercises and playing the Bach Partitas. I have no idea how I am going ton concentrate on work today.
armtuk: (violin)
I am thoroughly enjoying the two bows I got. They are both very good, though right now I am preferring the Tabary over the CodaBow by a bit. It seems to produce a stronger sound, and isn't as wild on bouncing strokes. I haven't really started playing anything that's really all that demanding yet though, so time will tell. I dusted off my copies of the Mazas studies, and the Kreutzer and the Sevcek Opus 3. I will start working on those I think in the comming days. I have been working hard on my vibrato as that was one of the biggest weak points of my playing before. I am also spending some time on basic excercises to re-familiarize myself with the places my fingers need to go to be in tune too. My ear has deteriorated a bit and I have to check my notes against open strings to see if I am in tune, but I know it will come back. I hope that once I get my skill level back up, I can find a local amateur orchestra to play with, though I think the odds of finding that are slim. Maybe I'll get good enough that I can play with one of the local professional orchestras. I've also started thinking about starting an electronic string quartet. All member's instruments will be amplified, and we'll do a range of stuff, from classical works for the quartet like Mozart quartets, so quartet arrangements of The Beatles and other contemporary people. I figure we can rent our services to Weddings and Banquets and the like in the tri-county area. Maybe if [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] continues learning to play, she can come play second violin for the quartet :).

Edit: it's amazing what a nice piece of music will do for one's mood.
armtuk: (violin)
The first of the two bows I ordered has arrived!!!! YAY! The Jean Tabary came first, which is a good thing because thats the bow I ordered with the strings, and my Violin is certain to need new strings.

I can't wait to play, but I have to work tonight alas!! I hope I get done quickly
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Today, having just got paid, I splurged a bit. I bought a Violin bow (carbon fibre) and some strings from FiddleHeads which is run by a lovely lady who has been most helpful on email. I bought four pairs of shoes which I woefully needed and I bought an air conditioner from Sears.

The shoes are: one pair of casual (brown), one pair of casual (black), one pair of boots (for the garden) and one pair of smart (black). I got a new pair of smart black shoes because I bought the same pair of shoes in brown, and they are super comfy. Add to that the fact that my current shoes in black are clompy (they make a loud noise when you walk), and I felt that I was justified in supplanting them with an alternative. The casual shoes were acquired because my current sneakers which double as casual shoes are done for. They have a big chunk of plastic missing from the bottom. The boots are for the garden. I think that's what finally did it for my sneakers. They look very sad and have mud lines around all the seams. I think I will avoid doing garden work in my new casual shoes.

The air-con is for the library. The basement is like an oven at this time of year, so I am working in the Library with Thomas whilst [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] is away, and it's frikin' hot at this time of year and the air-con unit we have is ancient and power hungry.

I also bought some replacement things for MintPixels' property which I will be handing off to Sarah at the end of the month.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Last night I went to sleep dreaming about playing the violin. Bach sonatas and partitas, Sibelius concerto, Beethoven sonatas, Franck sonata. I can't wait to get a bow and play again. I am going to have to try to find a pianist, and also a teacher. Ten years ago I went to this awesome teacher near Philadelphia. I'm hoping that somehow I can find her again and that she still teaches. Somehow I doubt that she won't be teaching. She was the kind of musician that is a lifer. Totally dedicated to the pursuit of music. She played occasionally for the Philadelphia Symphony orchestra. She played Bach to die for. The most amazing Bach ever, it made me cry when I heard it the first time. The only things left, are that I have to wait for my pay cheque, and that I have to decide between a couple of different bows. Either the Jean Tabary profressional, or the CodaBow Diamond GX I think. These are the two most promising candidates. Also people liked the CodaBow Colours too. Maybe I'll get the Tabary and the Colours. The Colours bow is pretty inexpensive (at least as bows go).

I hope that if I start to play violin, it will encourage Riordon to play more music too.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
I have not been able to play the violin for many years, as my bow is totally wrecked. [Bad username or site: bean_bunny'/ @ livejournal.com] turned me on to carbon fibre bows, and I think that I am going to have to acquire one. They are verycost effective. Some of the highest end carbon fibre bows are under a thousand dollars, and the equivalent wood bow would probably be around three thousand. Whilst looking for a website that sells these delightful items, I came across a company in canada, that has some awesome violins. It made me think of starting up and electronic quartet and doing arrangements of popular music to play at weddings and other social events. If I start playing again on a regular basis - I am going to have to try to start something like that up.

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