Nail It or Fail It

I’m working on this concerto movement, the big finale movement of Seitz’s second concerto.  It’s coming along well enough considering my skills, but there are things in there that I just cannot do well.  Not taking into account some complicated bowing right out of the gate that makes me sound scratchy, there’s a section of double stops that I more or less just have to muscle over right now.  I’m working it slowly, and can occasionally make it sound OK, but when I want to play the section in situ, at the same tempo as the rest of the piece, I really have no ability to get it right at all.  It’s reminding me of position shifting – it’s just sitting in there as this unresolved problem that will eventually fall into place.  My other double stops in pieces I’ve played before are similar – my skill level is just not up to being able to nail them yet.

Then there are these other sections that are quite challenging, but they are coming along.  All new pieces take a little time, this one to a much higher degree than in the past.  The three sections are tough too – one with strange rhythms and accidentals, another full of big slurs of many notes, and then a section of doubled sixteenth notes with high Cs that I have to hit with my extended pinky.  These will probably come together in short enough order, but I’m definitely having to wrestle with it more than just about anything else I’ve done to date.

And then there’s the big finale – this is a finish worthy of the Tchaikovsky – OK not really – but it has these gigantic fortissimo up and down bow chords with a final extended open G low note – it’s supposed to be drama to the max that the violin can do.  I cannot fake this and have it sound anything close to good; it’s nail it or fail it.

I said to Teacher on Tuesday that I keep playing it slowly, and she said, “Yeah but sometimes you just have to go for it.”  So I shall.

Thanks for reading.


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