22nd August 2014

Four Days and Counting

So in a little over four days’ time, I’ll be sitting in a room with a panel of judges playing my audition for the American Youth Symphony. 

There is not much left to be done in these four days. I will, of course, be making the most out of the time I have left to practice, but these things are incremental. Between now and Tuesday, I may go from nailing the first entrance in the Rite of Spring solo eighteen times out of twenty to nineteen, but I’m not going to be able to radically alter how I play anything. I am, effectively, in the land of the most subtle refinements; where I am now is where I will be Tuesday.

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21st August 2014
normallyparenthetical replied to your post: “normallyparenthetical replied to…”
Personally, I think Candide needs to move along, but I think Figaro loses most of its “content” if you push it too far. Having said that, I find Harnoncourt’s 112 to be really too slow.
112, really? wow, i had no idea he did it that slowly. i always associate him with faster tempi b/c of his Beethoven recordings, but that’s obvs not a complete discography.
Candide definitely needs to move, but i feel like there are a lot of groups (esp college bands) that turn it into a “look how fast we can play!!!!” contest as opposed to deciding tempo based on more musical concerns — the “oh happy we” section really suffers from this the most. maybe i’ve just played it too many times … 
20th August 2014
MAYBE I WILL. On reflection, I have had conductors insist that the descending scales (when Mozart is trying to cadence) be tongued, but fortunately they’ve been more minim=126 kind of people, rather than part of that awful 152 crowd.

yeah … . i like how the range of tempos for Figaro range from “kind of peppy, but in a chill way” to “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS EVERYTHING IS CRY” (see also the overture to Candide… )

20th August 2014

normallyparenthetical replied to your post: “normallyparenthetical replied to your post: “sigmastolen replied to…”

Ah, that makes sense. As someone who sits in the row in front of you, I had forgotten those bits exist (_I’m_ playing then, and obviously that’s more important…)
well listen, friend, if you want to go back in time and tell the audition committee that there are MORE IMPORTANT THINGS HAPPENING so you DON’T NEED TO HEAR THE BASSOONS PLAY THIS BIT, MMMKAY?, you are MORE THAN WELCOME TO. (or, you know, to go back and tell Mozart not to write the darn thing in the first place …) until then, i will be in my room with my metronome trying to sound like a light and bouncy ostinato and not a machine gun that somehow acquired pitch
20th August 2014





Beethoven 4 is just not a thing that should exist. for me it’s mostly the fingers (guess who never got in the habit of practicing arpeggios regularly! whoops), but just like, ugh, no, go away. i think one of the things that helps me with my double tonguing is the fact that i tend to hum/sing music all the time while i’m walking around, and when i get to something fast, i’ll literally do the double-tonguing thing to get all the “da da da da”s out in time — and i was doing this for years before i ever tried to do it on bassoon. so i kind of had a jump-start on practicing it built in … 

aaah, see, for all my humming and singing, i’ve never really been able to do that clearly, even without a reed in my mouth.  i marvel at people who are good at it (and at tongue twisters and patter)!  but also i think a different part of my tongue strikes the reed to produce an articulation on bassoon than strikes my palate or teeth when i’m speaking or singing, so maybe it wouldn’t have helped me anyway?  i also have a lot of trouble with getting, like, stuck in my throat on the “ka/ga” part of double-tonguing, idk what that’s about.

it’s so hard to talk about/work on articulation because there’s no way to see what is happening on the inside of your mouth.  i get very frustrated trying to troubleshoot, with or without help from teachers!  (once at a summer festival a teacher actually refused to even listen and shut down the conversation with “stop making excuses” and that was when i knew i didn’t want to be in her studio for grad school.  fun times!)

ah, yeah, i was raised on a p steady diet of tongue twisters and patter songs (my dad did a lot of theatre in his youth, and likes to bring out a lot of the old warmups at the drop of a hat — i cannot remember a time when i was unfamiliar with “they’re a ravenous hoard, and they all leapt on board at Sloan Square and South Kensington stations… “), so that probably didn’t hurt either. 

the “ka/ga” is defs the trickiest part. i spent/spend a lot of time playing with where exactly it’s happening in my mouth? i think higher up has generally been more successful for me than lower down, but idek — as you said, you can’t exactly see what the interior of your moth is doing …

WOW, what a horrible thing to say! can’t blame you for not wanting to join that person’s studio … 

Reblogged from : sigmastolen