Well, this Gavotte is magnificently difficult. I talked to Teacher yesterday about other people’s view of the piece – perhaps I mentioned before that she says kids tend to hate it. She says she likes it (she does not necessarily love them all) but that many, many people get it “good enough” and then never go back to it. I admit to not really liking the piece much when first I started listening to it, but it has grown on me. Not only do I find it lovely in its own way (I can hear Marilyn Horne singing as I play!), but I dearly love a challenge. Nothing I’ve worked on to date exercises my fingers and my brain like this one.
I wish I could explain the breakthrough I had in yesterday’s lesson – I was trying to explain it to Michael last night and realized that some things you just have to do in order to appreciate. Here’s a try: Teacher worked on helping me relax my hand so I can more freely move my first and fourth fingers while thinking about my second and/or third fingers as being “anchors” for particular parts of the piece. Such a way of thinking about and positioning my hand makes my fingers more spritely. How’d my explanation go? Unless you play, you probably understood none of it, but for me it’s the beginning of a real breakthrough!
It’s similar in karate – it’s very difficult to explain to the non-practitioner the finer points of body movement that can only be appreciated after experiencing them in the same way.
I was thinking about this notion of shared experience yesterday in the context of both of these pursuits – karate and playing the violin – in some ways we can know very little about people, but if we have a fine pursuit in common then we will have a great deal of extremely detailed experience in common. These shared experiences can bridge age and culture and many other differences between people. I could forge an instant bond with any Suzuki kid anywhere over this Gavotte – I love that!
Thanks for reading.