Saturday, January 29, 2011

2 Flutes, Violin, and Cello

We have added a violinist (who also plays the viola a little) to our chamber group (now respelled as M&M's), and are looking for appropriate repertoire. Not much is written for 2 flutes, a violin, and a cello. We are working on a piece now by Boismortier, arranged for 1 flute, 2 oboes, and piano. I am playing the left-hand piano on cello, and the flutes and violin are divying up the flute and oboe parts. It sounds surprisingly good.

We also have some four-part recorder music, some standard quartet music (with either 3 violins or 2 violins and viola), though some of it is more violin-y than flute-y, but it is fun to explore what we have and see if it will work, for us, and for our instruments.

We have a another performance, too, though not until mid-June. About 45 to 50 minutes this time. A nice goal!

Meanwhile, the fiddling group is coming along. There were 9 people at the rehearsal today: tin whistle, mandolin, bodhran, guitar, 4 fiddles, and me, on cello. We have a performance in March.

And the orchestra is playing February 9 at a local school, and again in May (2 concerts).

That should keep me busy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Em & M's

Ok, I've been busy. Work, work, work, but lots of music too. I am playing in orchestra, in the fiddle group, in the women's fiddle group, and now with a new trio, made up of remnants of  the flute choir, after it dwindled down to a precious few.

We call the new group the Em & M's because of our names: Emma, Marilyn, and Marilyn. We all play flute. Marilyn and I play cello, and Emma has expressed interest in learning the cello. She also plays piano and guitar.

We got together just before Christmas to put together a 10-12 minute performance for a benefit concert for a group that collects care package items to send to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The flute choir has always participated (as has the fiddle group), so we gathered what was left of it and created a 2 flute/cello trio. I randomly selected a piece from my stack of mostly unperformed trio music: Trio for 2 Flutes and Cello, by Carlo Wiseman, written about 1750, and a folk song, "The Ash Grove."

The cello parts were not difficult (mostly first position--I would recommend both pieces for an adult beginner), but it did take us a while to get it all together. We performed it this past Saturday, and my husband videotaped it (and missed the first few measures of each piece; the Wiseman has 3 movements).

I am not entirely please with my performance--you can hardly hear me! I really thought I was playing louder than it sounds on the video, and my husband thought the instruments were well-balanced during the performance. On the other hand, I was worried about pitch and sound (the cello sounded scratchy to me), and may have deliberately played softly. I felt good about "The Ash Grove" though, and thought that was louder. But it isn't.

Oh well. I will post them anyway. I am hoping we will perform again in June (again taking the flute choir's regular slot at an outdoor arts fair), and we can see the progress!

The bowl in front of us is not for donations--it is full of M&Ms for the audience to munch on.

(All the videos are cut off in my view of this blog. You can see more on the right side on Youtube.) 

Wiseman, movement 1

Wiseman, movement 2

Wiseman, movement 3

The Ash Grove

Oh, I also played with the Falmouth Fiddlers:

And later, Marilyn and I played flute to accompany the Mashpee Singing Seniors, but we were drowned out by the trumpets, the piano, and the chorus, so I won't post that here!