Saturday, October 17, 2009

Orchestra semi-progress

It has been a busy summer and fall, and I have not written much here. Nor have I practiced much. For several weeks I continued to go to my lesson and orchestra rehearsal with NO practicing in between. Appalling. Especially given how much I need to practice. Now, in the last few days (I am on vacation from one of my jobs), I have found a little time to practice, and to blog again.

I am playing with a community orchestra, which I mentioned in an earlier post. Most of the music is easy, though a couple of pieces have challenging sections, and one, "The Hebrides," by Mendelssohn, does require a lot of practice. I have, thus far, concentrated my itty bitty practice time on "The Hebrides," as it is a beautiful piece and I would like to contribute to some of that beauty. But, it has been frustrating, as some of the fingerings are quite awkward, and the music flies by. One could spend one's entire practice time on a couple of measures.

So, my new strategy is to practice the easy pieces, to build my confidence. And then sneak in a few measures of the Hebrides. So far (two practice days), it is helping, and it is certainly a better approach than avoiding practicing altogether. Concerts are in November, all too soon.

Also in November I am going to a weekend fiddle camp. I haven't been practicing fiddle music either. But that's another blog post for another day.


A. Hiscock said...

Oh, gah, the Hebrides. I did that one this past spring, and yes, the fingerings are awful, especially at concert tempo. I am reminded of a rehearsal a few years ago when we were experimenting with the Italian Symphony, our (non-string playing) conductor at the time rhapsodizing about it. Someone at the back of our cello section muttered resentfully, "Mendelssohn was a pianist."

Averill Mountain Crafts said...

Hi fellow sufferer!
I spent last night trying to figure out some easier fingerings, particularly in the fast 16th note passages. For some of them there is just no good fingering. Even the bass part has them, and I can't imagine how the basses are doing those fast passages. Maybe there's a magic rosin that will help. Could I be clutching at straws?

I'm taking a day off from practice; I'm watching football and making turkey soup (which I hope will improve my sore throat and stuffed sinuses).

yarnplayer said...

Sounds like a smart practicing plan.

Maricello said...

Glad I am not alone in this Hebrides endeavor! I like that comment about Mendelssohn being a pianist. :-)

I have practiced 3 days in a row now, some kind of record for me, recently. I have not tried the bass part yet, but am, at least, enjoying the easier pieces.