Tag Archives: Wieniawski

Back to the Violin again!

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 🙂

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More Sibelius

Well, Vadim Repin’s concert has got me all inspired again.  Ran into Semra earlier in the week and she said that on Friday night, Vadim played the Carnival of Venice as an encore.  How cool!  Luckily, I’ve got him playing this already on a DVD called “World Encores” that I picked up in Singapore when we went for SEAJam.   I’m sure it would have been just as fun here in Perth!

Then I started listening to the Leonidas Kavakos version again when my Dad reminded me that I had bought it a few years ago!  Now that’s a great version, so much drama and emotion in the playing.

I really want to finish off the Wieniawski now so I can move onto other concertos!  I had a good 1.5 hour practice two nights ago – my fingered octaves aren’t going that great, but the 3rd movement is mostly just learning the notes for the moment.   I’m trying to balance the 2nd movement so that it’s not too soppy and so each phrase has movement and direction.  I’m relatively happy with the 1st movement now I think – I’ll have to wait and see what Margie thinks of it at my 2nd lesson with her tomorrow.  I’m still semi fudging some of the arpeggiatic runs, or more like the intonation/shifts aren’t exactly in tune…  I guess since I’m doing it more for fun, I don’t have to get it perfect right??? hahahaha