Friday, December 07, 2007

Bach Suite 2 Sarabande Take 1

Found time. T- called to cancel my lesson yesterday due to illness (get well soon, T-), and while I hate to miss a cello lesson, with the roads as bad as they are right now it meant an extra three hours to... what?... yes, practice. At least part of it.

So, feeling happy that I can finally play through the Sarabande from the 2nd Suite, and since I haven't posted a practice clip in a long while, I thought I'd record it once through without repeats and do my own lesson this week.

OK, the obvious stuff. I really, really must do something about that facial tic. It has improved so much that I thought it was completely gone, but IT'S NOT! No wonder T- has me grinning and doing other distractions while playing at my lessons. I also notice that a few head tossing mannerisms have snuck in now that my hair has grown a little longer and is getting in my eyes and under my left fingers occasionally.

I moved the stand far off to the right side (since I don't have this memorized) to be out of the way of the camera, and I wonder how much extra tension is induced just because I am turning my head farther than it should be. It will be interesting to compare another recording after it's memorized. In a few weeks, maybe. (Hah!)

I'm not too unhappy with the playing. Could still use some intonation work, and would like to improve the sound quality of the chords. Maybe make them a little longer so they ring more, which I can probably do by relaxing and convincing myself psychologically that I have more time than I think. I'm still not landing the upper notes right on the beat, so need to look at timing for the chords, too. I think my rhythms are correct, finally, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Other than that, it's just more of the usual. Shifts, string crossings, vibrato, yada, yada.

The cello sounds much, much better than it did in my first recording. I broke three strings in the past month, having never broken one since I started playing. The original D stretched by breaking the core on the peg, and I replaced the A and D with Jarger mediums. The original G broke the same way, and I replaced it with a Pirastro Permanent. Sounded kinda wussy, so I wasn't too mad when I broke it stupidly by cranking it instead of the C string after a pre-concert peg-popping incident, when I was in a hurry and not paying sufficient attention to what I was doing. Replaced it with a Jargar medium, which had a smooth sound but seemed to make the whole cello tight and muted. So changed it out for a Prim a couple of days ago. I still have the original Spirocore chromesteel C. Sounds good now, so I'll leave it alone until I break another string.

Don't worry, this is just a short diversion. My next practice log post is under construction.


ola del m rio said...

Paris just loved listening to this piece! I'm going to play the viola tomorrow and see how she reacts to it.

Guanaco said...

Nicely done! I suspect you're right about the tension from having to look to the side at the music.

I like your comment about "...relaxing and convincing myself psychologically that I have more time than I think." I've remarked to my teacher how it seems she has so much more time to make those complicated shifts and string changes. Her response: "practice until you can't do it wrong, and then just relax and play it."

Funky Smith said...

Awesome. Great form.

Erin said...

I'm always getting my hair under my fingers... it's a pain isn't it?

Gottagopractice said...

If it's not one thing, it's another. Keeps things interesting.

OK, just relax (whispering).

(Roll eyes). She's *men*-tal, that one is.