Monthly Archives: March 2016

A Bach Bourree Finish

Apparently I passed the Bach Gavotte in D Major – in yesterday’s lesson Teacher took us onto the final piece in book three, a bourree, also by Bach.  If I was enamored of the last Bach gavotte (and I am) then this new bourree is totally spectacular.  I’ve been looking forward to it since starting […]

It’s Called a Gavotte

Bach’s Orchestral Suite is lovely – it’s the most challenging and complex piece I’ve worked on to date, and I can feel my playing slowly growing into it.  While I’ve been working on it for close to two months now, it was only in this week’s lesson that we began to talk about phrasing and […]

Music and Rocket Science

Last night Michael and I were having one of those very important conversations – we spent a few minutes brainstorming about whether music or rocket science is harder. Here’s a list of ideas: Playing the violin is hard; interplanetary travel is also hard. Getting a rocket into the sky is quite tricky and does not […]

Passions: Music Beats Politics

I’ve long been shackled to politics – here in Chicago at least we had a primary with some interesting local races that actually centered on issues versus personalities.  The elections have been important and offered a refreshing reminder of what politics should be all about.  But the national dialogue is anything but. One side effect of […]

Othello, Sounds by Jones

Othello is a masterful psychological thriller, with jealousy in the driver’s seat.  Both male leads, Othello and Iago, are so jealous of Cassio that they become willing to kill when each believes the young lieutenant has wronged them, for quite different reasons.   Add the psychological complexity of the work to the racial and military framing […]

16 Bars

Joseph Haydn wrote over a hundred symphonies; he is sometimes called the father of the symphony (also of the String Quartet).  His London symphonies, a dozen of them written between 1791 and 1795, were his last.  They solidified his reputation as one of the era’s most prolific composers of the form.  According to Wikipedia, Haydn’s […]

Scaling Up

I’ve been warming up with scales for a while now.  I think one major benefit to the practice is becoming accustomed to hearing the correct pitch.  Moving stepwise through the notes makes it easier to hear when I’m out of tune.  It’s also a way to mark progress – as I slowly get better, the […]

Rough Lesson

I’ve been making steady progress on the D Major Gavotte, but to hear me trot it out for Teacher yesterday you never would have known that.  In the middle of playing it she stopped me and asked about my posture, which was apparently quite off-kilter.  I realized when she brought it up that I was […]