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What are you practicing just now? Especially cellists :)
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Sacramento, California

December 6, 2021 - 2:02 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
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The big one is Bach Cello Suite No. 2 (in viola transcription), the entire suite. Have been working on it for 10 months now, because practice time has been limited for the entire time and much of it has been spent on orchestra rep for both in-person and virtual orchestras.

I'm getting into final exam week for the first semester of my graduate program, and after that I'm planning to add a solo piece for the rest of December. I'm debating between continuing with the Clarke viola sonata, or working on the Brahms E-flat major sonata.

I'm also working on a couple things for virtual ensembles: the first movement of the Vitezslav Novak serenade for small orchestra for a virtual orchestra project, and the first movement of Mozart's "Kegelstatt" trio to try to record as a virtual trio with out-of-town friends.


December 7, 2021 - 2:27 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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@Ilona -

Well, I hope you feel like "Superwoman" after learning THAT piece!

So sorry to hear about your Cello, especially since it's so new. 

Will it cost much to get fixed? 

When the humidity starts getting too low, we have to put a big pot of water on the stove.  I'll probably have to do that soon. 

I'm waiting to see when my new Viola will be finished - I'm very excited!

Hope you and your Daughter have a wonderful Christmas! 


- Emily

Gordon Shumway
London, England

August 12, 2022 - 9:37 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
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Mouse said
We worked on ChansonTriste a while back to get some particular technique from it before we continued on with Vocalise.  Both are lovely cello pieces. My instructor is working his way to a particular piece he wants me to do. Haven’t reached that point yet.

I should look at Chanson Triste and Vocalise again  

I'm looking at Vocalise on the violin at the moment.

It's not an easy piece. Part of the problem is the bow distribution - it's slow and there are lots of long notes that can be difficult to manage if you play them all on the downbow. The ABRSM version is Birtel for Schott, 2015, but I don't like it, so I am amending it according to the Youtube video below. Amending bowing can be seen as a cheat - simplifying, but the counter to that is, you can't simply make every note a downbow and justify that by saying "it's difficult to play". Maisky's bowing is much smoother than Birtel's, but, in compensation, Maisky adds some excellent portato, which is an important skill to learn. He begins the first repeat with reversed bowing for two bars, which is also interesting.


August 12, 2022 - 10:03 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@Gordon Shumway That was lovely. I find long bowing strokes to be easier in my cello. Odd, since it is the shortest bow.

I was always disappointed, and still am, that Vocalise and Chanson Triste were done in my lessons way before I was ready. Instructors seem to have always done that to me because they are pieces they want to do. I was not able to, and not taught to do a lot of the bowing necessary, the shifting was never covered. I really needed exercises or a simpler introduction, for that before these difficult pieces. I couldn't be thrown into them like that. Then we moved on to another difficult piece before that shifting and bowing was learned, and I could actually play those songs. I am trying to get to a point where I can give them another try, on my own, without rushing.

I cannot imagine doing this on a violin. I am sure you will get it, but I am afraid that I will not get to that point. I have a long way to go for thy, and too many yers on my joints. Just a reality, not a defeatist attitude.

I think it would sound lovely on a violin. I think it would have a completely different tone or mood. I really have faith that you can do it.


By the way, I don't think changing something up to be able to do it is a cheat. I see nothing wring with that. I bet almost all songs have been changed up for that very reason.

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

August 12, 2022 - 10:05 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I am working on a couple violin pieces to improved and coordinate my intonation and bowing. I am doing the same with my viola and cello, although, I haven't narrowed down the pieces for cello and viola. The cello pieces I checked out were either too easy, or a little too difficult for me to concentrate on it.


The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.


August 24, 2022 - 2:25 am
Member Since: May 19, 2020
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A little update on what I have been doing lately. I spent almost the whole summer practicing Fauré's Elegie. Of course I also had other summer homeworks, but my main focus was on that piece because I had a plan to perform it at summer camp in the last week of July. And I did it! 🤩

When my lessons started a couple of weeks ago, I thought I might need a break from the Elegie, but my teacher said we are trying to do the next level exam pretty quickly this fall and I could play that piece. So no break, I have to keep it going and of course try to make it even better. The good thing is that I really love that piece. It's so full of different emotions that I have enjoyed figuring out how to express them best. ❤️


August 27, 2022 - 7:26 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
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@Ilona Great to hear about your playing--congrats on summer camp performance! smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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