Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cello lesson

I brought my four-flat version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and my treble clef version of "Gesu Bambino" to my lesson this week. My teacher gave my a few fingering improvements on them both, but all in all she was very happy with my playing of both pieces. I am feeling good about them, and still haven't transposed the Bambino to bass clef. Hmm, maybe I can actually read from treble clef now. It's probably better to play from the score anyway, so I know where the vocalist is.

The organist has said that the vocalist likes to sing freely not according to any strict tempo. Fine by me. A fiddler once told me, at a fiddle session, that I was holding out some notes too long. He said he could understand why, because they sounded so beautiful on the cello. :-) I took that as a compliment, though I could tell he was frustrated because I wasn't playing the tune (Star of the County Down) the same way he was.

He was playing 3 quarter notes per measure. I was playing dotted-quarter, eighth, quarter in certain measures, so yes, my first note was more drawn out than his, though not because I was mesmerized by the music, but because I was playing the standard version of the tune. In a typical fiddle session, the person introducing the tune gets to play it the way she or he wants to, so I eventually won that discussion. I will apply the same logic to Gesu Bambino. However the singer wants to sing it is fine with me (so long as all three of us can all stay together).


cellodonna said...

We're doing an orchestrated version of "Gesu Bambino" for our holiday concert this year. It alternates 5 times from one flat to 4 flats. (I don't consider 4 flats to be very cello friendly.)

Fiddle sessions sound very laid back and fun. Neat etiquette regarding the person introducing the tune.

Maricello said...

My Gesu is much easier. It is in 1 sharp, moves to 2 flats and back to 1 sharp.

I asked my teacher if she thought 4 flats for O Little Town made it more passionate. She said she was not aware that F minor was supposed to be a passionate key. She thought maybe it was in 4 flats to accommodate the horn or other instrument (I am playing from a multipurpose score). However, when we played it, she said it was a wonderful key for the piece. I think I am using 4 or 5 positions in this short,simple piece, so it is a good exercise in moving around the fingerboard.

Have fun with your concert!