Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Practicing Debussy

I am finally coming to terms with my double life. I have decided that it is morally and ethically correct for me to switch from violin to viola whenever I want to, and that it is fine to enjoy everything there is to enjoy about both instruments. Actually, what I enjoy most (on either instrument) is to cross the bridge between not being able to do something--to play a passage or a piece--and being able to play it.

Tonight the challenge is Debussy. My pianist friend and I have a recital set up for Mozart's Birthday (January 27th--his 201st), and in addition to a bunch of Mozart, we're playing the Debussy Sonata. I have an old French edition without any fingerings or bowings, so I am totally on my own to figure out what to do. I thought of cheating--watching some of the Indianapolis Finalists who have their recitals archived on the IVCI website--but I'm not going to even watch (or listen) until I have figured out everything for myself.

Working on this piece seems to tighten the screws in my brain. It makes me get sounds out of the violin that are actually violin-like. A year ago I played violin like a violist, embracing the darkness of the lower register and avoiding any resonance on the E String. Now I think I might even pass as a violinist.

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