Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Yesterday, while I was practicing my "Daily Dounis," I hit upon something that sounded like Paganini. Just for fun, after I was finished with my Dounis, I opened up my Paganini Caprices to look for the specific passage. I was totally surprised to find that I could actually navigate my way through many of the Caprices, and actually realized that they are a lot of fun to play (not that I was really playing them) because they are so well written for the violin.

Today, after my Dounis, I think I might even pick one and start to work on it! It's really hard for me to believe that this is possible. I always thought that being able to play Paganini was one of those unreachable goals; kind of like being able to reach a high shelf without a stool.

Well, it is on to the challenges of the day for me.


Anonymous said...

Dounis was the greatest pedagogue in my opinion.
Since you are beginning to experience great progress through studying his works, I strongly, strongly, recommend the book Demetrios Constantine Dounis: His Method in Teaching the Violin by Chris A. Costantakos. It is the most thorough outline of Dounis and his method and addresses all aspects of Dounis' pedagogy; applying the principles contained therein yields phenomenal results. Mr. Costantakos did a great service by writing it.
I also advise seeking out some of the old, out-of-print Dounis works from a major library.
I do not know who you are but I know that many fellow violinists are adverse to studying Dounis largely through, I meekly must say, ignorance of his methods (that is, they incorrectly practice the stretching etudes, get a pains in their left hand, then hate Dounis, etc. or claim he did not address the bow arm adequately).
I thought I would comment since you seem receptive to his methods and hope you find my advice profitable.

Elaine Fine said...

Thanks for your suggestion. I just ordered a copy of the Costantakos book through interlibrary loan.