Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Music Nugget 13/ Best Late Than Never

       A couple of weeks ago  my brain replayed the melting scene from The Wizard of Oz and the wicked witch said to me, "How about a little Don Juan, Scarecrow?!".  Oh my...   In a couple of weeks I will be rehearsing Don Juan, an orchestral tone poem by Richard Strauss, with Kenosha Symphony.  It's difficult.  Very difficult.  Don Juan is one of the pieces on my list of works that I never really get right.  I have a "thing about it";  I've always struggled with parts of it.  And it is often on audition lists.  Ugh.
     During my viola lessons (see Viola Rehab post) I worked on this piece and made considerable progress.  I have been applying what I learned as I brush it up and I am pleased.  One of my discoveries is that some of the technical challenges are solved by simply moving my fingers a bit faster than I think they should go.  Violas tend to speak late, and I have heard conductors say "anticipate the beat".  But nobody ever said how.  Until my latest teacher.  Or else I never listened until recently.  In any case, I am discovering that my bow arm is not the problem...my fingers are. So I practice both physically and mentally; I will them to move faster.  It takes a lot of focusing, but it is worth it.  It is working, even at my advanced age (which is censored).
     What a gift to experience in the autumn of life.  Leaves are falling (hair, in my case) and soon it will be winter....but I'm going out in a bang!  I never would have guessed that I would conquer Don Juan at my age.  This is really cool.....sore muscles and all!  I am a gray tiger!! 
     Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks.  Sometimes the best is saved until last.




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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.