Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Post-Camp Rehearsals

I'm performing with two ensembles (early music and flute choir) at the same Labor Day weekend concert in about a week and a half. I brought all my sheet music to fiddle camp with me, hoping to practice, even hoping to get some fiddlers to play the violin parts with me. But I focused completely on the Scottish fiddle music while I was at camp, and I am still obsessed with it in my practice sessions, still not playing much of anything else.

So, I was pleasantly surprised last night at early music rehearsal that my playing of the early music pieces has improved even though I have not been practicing them. It must be a side benefit of playing cello four or five hours a day for a week. My intonation is better too. Learning by ear must have helped. It forces you to concentrate on pitches, not notes. I need to keep this up.

This morning I practiced some fiddle tunes with a friend from the fiddling group. We sounded better together too. We played "Flowers of Edinburgh," and started to work on "Kinrara." We have a fiddle session later this week, and I hope to teach "Kinrara" to the group then. We played some Scottish music in the early music group too, including a violin/cello duet of "Flowers of Edinburgh." I am going to have to memorize that one.


Terry said...

I'm familiar with "Flowers of Edinburgh," and can play a harmony and the melody, although I can't take the melody as fast as some take it.

For this duet, what is the cello part like?

Maricello said...

"Flowers of Edinburgh" was written by James Oswald around 1742 according to the New England Fiddler's Repertoire.

Abby Newton gave us a version that has a little more ornamentation in the violin part than the standard "Flowers." It is called "My Love's Bonny When She Smiles on Me," but it is the same tune, and credited to Oswald. In this version, the tune is mainly in 8th notes with some dotted 8th/16th note combinations, and the cello accompaniment is mostly in 8th notes, in a counter melody.

I believe this is part of the "Collection of Curious Scots Tunes" by Oswald (who was a cellist), which seems to be hard to come by, but available. My early music group took the tune slowly; the fiddlers play it fast. We played it at a brisk pace at fiddle camp, but not too fast to keep up.

E-mail me if you'd like more information. cellist at marisol dot com.