Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another reason to love...

...a tuxedo cat.
Doesn't she look great with a red cello case?
My cello case doesn't usually sit upstairs by the rail, but I had dropped it at the way station after orchestra rehearsal. This year I have scheduled my piano lesson, my cello lesson, and an orchestra rehearsal all on the same day. The two lessons are in the same place, with a 1.5 hour break between, so I pack a lunch and rent a practice room for an hour. That's a long day, so it's no wonder the cello stops upstairs while I grab dinner.

This semester in orchestra we are playing Dvorak Symphony No. 8 (old 4), the Grieg Pomp and Circumstance, Overture to Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck (that would be the one who lived from 1854 to 1921), and Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The Dvorak is an old friend, my third time through it. I'm relatively new with this orchestra, so it's been nice that my first two large pieces were Beethoven's Pastorale Symphony and this Dvorak, both of which I've been through with two other orchestras. And both of which have complex and exposed cello parts that I have had plenty of time to work out the puzzles of. You will recognize the slow bits of P&C as what you commonly hear at high school graduations, but I'll bet you didn't know that the opening and interludes are fast and tricky. H & G also has some parts that I think are too fast for me to play accurately yet. I haven't given up, but for now I practice them slowly to get the notes, fast in short bursts to get the gestures, then during rehearsals keep my bow and fingers moving in the right rhythm and hope for the best with the notes. Winter is rather fun. Our soloist is a recent Eastman grad who has recently moved back to the area, and whose Dad plays in the viola section.

I know that has nothing to do with cats, but I don't want to leave you with the impression that kittens are my entire life. They're just a very fun part of it.


Anonymous said...

Why not a cello-n-cats blog? As you've shown in the picture, they go together nicely.

I envy you that red case. Is it a Bam?

Good practice tips there, although you probably weren't meaning to give out tips. Slow, then fast, then rhythm.

Gottagopractice said...

Hi PFS. No, that's a Gewa, about 4 years old now. I think I'm the only person in the country who bought one, because I have yet to see another like it.

Re: the practice tips, remember that the rhythm has to be slow (but correct) when you are slow, and correct (and fast) when you are gesturing in order to have hope of at least getting that at rehearsal. If you leave all rhythm study "just 'till after I get the notes" you may never get it right.