Three months into playing it, I’ve now worked all the way through the third movement of this Vivaldi concerto. It’s been a lot of fun, and remains challenging. I don’t think I’ll spend quite as long polishing this one before moving onto the next piece as I did the first movement – Teacher and I worked on that one for about seven months! The position shifting is the hard part in both movements; this concerto is the first piece in the Suzuki repertoire with more than a fleeting shift. In this third movement, there are several spots with shifts and accidentals simultaneously, which adds a layer of complexity. All told, it’s a lot for me to get right in a very quick moment. The finger spacing for the work in second position is also new and challenging – hearing what the notes are supposed to sound like so I can get good intonation works best when I go very slowly. But it’s all coming along.
I’m also enjoying a couple of new Wohlfahrt etudes in e-flat major. I had some previous experience with the key when I picked out a version of I Dreamed a Dream – that linked post was written three years ago, quite a long time in my violin playing career! At the time, I was quite proud of myself for being able to determine that I was playing in e-flat major based on my meager knowledge of finger positions and the progression of the major scale. These e-flat major etudes in the Wohlfahrt book are nice, but the key is actually quite tricky for we strings players. And the etudes, of course, are quite a bit more complicated than the melody from I Dreamed a Dream! I really like the sound of the key, though I’m only beginning to appreciate the many factors at work in a composer’s head when selecting keys for their works.
Finally, I’m playing the opening theme from Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto. Not only do I love it and find it heart-swelling, but I have a violin solos book that includes the tune so I didn’t have to go far for the music. I’m having a lot of fun with it and am using it to help me with vibrato. The other pieces I continue to polish daily are the Bach Bourree from the end of Book Three and Ashokan Farewell.
All of that is a lot to squeeze in over the course of sixty to ninety minutes. Maybe I’ll play for two hours today.
Thanks for reading.