Learning the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Well, I’ve had a few months break from my violin.  The little spurt of learning and performing the Sibelius is all over. 

And it’s now time to start thinking of the next concerto for the Freo Eistedfodd next year.  The closing dates are usually in March – only 7 months away – but with the non-existent number of hours of practice I do, that’s not very much at all!

I’ve always been in awe of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  One of my favourite violin memories was watching the documentary of Itzhak Perlman travelling to Russia, and performing it there.  These last few weeks, I’ve been listening to the album at work.   It’s not the most heart wrenching interpretation of it, but I love the electric and enthusiastic atmosphere of the Russian audience in the live recording.

The first movement is long.  I had the music out the other night.  Heaps of pages.  More than the Sibelius.  More notes.  I think of it as preparing to climb a mountain – it’s a long journey, but I can’t wait for the day when I can play through the whole first movement from memory at a reasonable standard. 

So I’m thinking – 7 months.  I can’t remember now how many pages it is, but if it’s ~16 pages and I’d want to be able to learn all the notes and passages by the end of February hopefully.  That’s learning and mastering just about 2.5 pages a month.  Should be doable right?

On a related note, Julian Rachlin just performed this at the BBC Proms 34 concert.  You can listen to it online here for the next week:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2009/whatson/1008.shtml

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