Well, the other weekend, I went with my Dad to watch the Open Concerto heats for the Freo Eisteddfod. It’s been a while since I’ve seen what the local young musos are up to. The last thing I saw was the WAYMA Concerto Competition where Alexandra won playing the 1st movement of the Wieniawski. This time it was a mixed bag. Just looking at the program it looks really impressive – violinists playing the Prokofiev, Wieniawski and even the 1st movement of the Tchaik! Either I haven’t been monitoring the scene for a while, or people just “skipped” the concertos that traditionally lead up to these types of concertos. I must say, it’s a great feat to even be able to play the notes and get to the end in these concertos at these kids’ ages (16-17ish), so it was quite impressive and well done to those involved. However, a common trend I see is that so much concentration and effort is put into the notes, that the actual music making is missing.
It reminds me of this saying I see at our kids dance school – “It takes an athelete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer”. I believe the same can be applied to music. But these kids ARE young – we often say that they’re not old enough/haven’t experienced enough life to be able to put that feeling into the music and stop playing like a robot. But then I wonder – should musicality be an afterthought after the notes? I went through the same problems when I was younger. When practising it would always be the notes only – only a few practices before performance would I even think about musicality, phrasing, musical style, etc. But even back then, I remember I used to be told to practice musically all the time. My Dad would always give advice on how to play more musically, but I always thought it was better to nail that difficult run/arpeggio first. I’ve been recently listening to Hilary Hahn’s Bach and even when she recorded it at 16/17, her interpration is not robotic at all (plus her intonation and tone is absolute amazing!)
But now with a more years under my belt, I’d say that I do play more musically from the start. Not that I’m thinking about it conciously, but maybe/somehow living a few more years of life, makes a difference? How?
In any case, watching these young kids tackling those concertos has provided some temporary inspiration again. This week I replayed the Chaconne for memories :), then went back to work on the Back G minor Fuga and stated more detailed work on the Sibelius and sight read the Tchaik which I never wanted to do before – wanted, as in, it’s something I’ll tackle only when I think I’m ready. But maybe that’s not the right attitude – maybe I should just give it a go? *sigh* There’s so much repertoire that I want to work on – but I should really concentrate on a couple at a time 🙂