Progress Report

Vivaldi isn’t going anywhere, and I continue to play both the first and the third movement of the A Minor Concerto daily, but I’m now three weeks in to learning a new piece.  Teacher started me on Karl Bohm’s Perpetual Motion prior to her heading out of town for a couple of weeks, then in last week’s lesson we started to really dig in.  It’s joyful and fun, a show piece of sorts, though right now it seems impossibly fast.  The song is a continual parade of sixteenth notes that fly up and down D major, with plenty of counterpoint along the way.  Happily, almost all the sixteenth notes double up on the same note, and there are no slurs, so the bowing, while fast, is not otherwise challenging.  The song brings in half-position, third position, and harmonics, and that’s only in the first quarter that I’ve waded through so far.

Karl Bohm was a German composer born in 1844.  According to a brief Wikipedia article, his songs were popular in his lifetime, and highly marketable.  Building on my characterization of Perpetual Motion as a showpiece, the article indicates that Bohm’s works were bankable crowd-pleasers.  Notably, his publisher used the proceeds from Bohm’s swift sales to enable the publication of the works of Brahms.  Bohm’s own compositions have not entered the classical canon, though his inclusion in Suzuki’s Book Four has ensured that a good number of aspiring violinists have been exposed to his work.

This piece will not take as long to work through as the previous Book Four compositions.  I just searched back on this blog and see that it’s been two years since I started on the first Seitz Concerto movement in the book – in a lesson on June 14, 2016.  Since then, I’ve made it through three Seitz movements and two by Vivaldi, which works out to an average of nearly five months per piece!  It has been fun and it’s paying off; after this Bohm ditty comes the Book Four piece de resistance: the first movement of the fabulous Bach Concerto for two violins.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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