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Practice video - Hoffmeister viola concerto, first page
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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August 13, 2022 - 2:13 am
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I've just started working on the Hoffmeister viola concerto. I've never learned a Classical-era concerto before, because while I was self-teaching my right hand technique lagged far behind my left hand technique, which meant it was actually easier to jump straight into the Romantic and modern repertoire than to work on Classical pieces when I was playing at upper intermediate to early advanced level. So I'm going back and learning the Hoffmeister concerto now, and really planning to polish it to where I can use it for an audition.

So far I've had three practice sessions with it; my first lesson with it will be either next week or the week after. (Not scheduled yet, I'm still waiting for the post-COVID fatigue and cough to subside.) Here's what the first page of the first movement sounds like so far:

 

I haven't spent much time on anything beyond the first page because I'm currently working from a terrible edition that I bought at a music store about 15 years ago, where the editor starts to take a lot of liberties with the music at the beginning of the second page. I've ordered a Henle Urtext edition, which should arrive Monday, and I'm focusing on the first page until the better edition arrives.

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Mark
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August 13, 2022 - 2:40 am
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AndrewH

For just starting to learn the piece, it's sounding good.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ELCBK
USA
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August 13, 2022 - 3:23 am
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@AndrewH -

Well, think you're off & running with it!

It's Beautiful! 

...can't wait to hear more. 🤗 

Thanks for sharing this, Andrew! 

- Emily

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wtw
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August 13, 2022 - 4:43 am
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@AndrewH that's very nice playing. Same, I want to hear the rest of it.

I haven't actually listened to this concerto before (and I think I won't – your version will be first !).

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stringy
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August 13, 2022 - 5:52 am
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Brilliant stuff Andrew proffesional aound

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
August 13, 2022 - 8:28 am
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Wow! I don't know how you dod that. I have such a hard time loosening up and shifting, etc. I still am planted too firm in first position. 

Thanks.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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SharonC
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August 13, 2022 - 4:49 pm
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@AndrewH  Sounding excellent! Should make a really good audition piece--smile

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

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maudmaud
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August 13, 2022 - 5:37 pm
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Very good👏

🎻since08.2019🎶

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ABitRusty
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August 13, 2022 - 7:42 pm
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your playing sounds great Andrew.  

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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August 14, 2022 - 1:18 am
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Thanks, everyone.

I think there's still quite a bit to work on, even just in this first page. I'd like to be able to play most of the first movement cleanly before my first lesson on the piece, so that lesson time can be spent mostly on detail work and interpretation. And in general the bow hand needs to be more relaxed, especially on the triple and quadruple stops which sound a bit crunchy right now. There are a few spots in the movement that I know are going to be trouble spots where I'll need help with more basic technique (rapid string crossing, and some double-stop passages on the second page) so I know it's not going be entirely cleaned up in the next week or two.

I don't have any concrete plans to use this for any particular audition right now, but I want to have it in my back pocket for that purpose. UCDSO requires a re-audition every year, and I would like to continue playing in that orchestra as an alum if I have time for it. If I can fit the orchestra in my schedule, and if I have a movement of this concerto learned well enough by the time auditions take place, I might end up using it as one of the "two contrasting pieces" that the audition requires.

Otherwise: one of my long-term goals is to play well enough to be competitive at the level of a professional orchestra audition. That is, to not look out of place there, even if I never win a seat. This would mean not only technique, but also learning the pieces I would need to take an audition. It's common for professional viola auditions to ask for one of the "big three" modern concertos (Walton, Bartok, Hindemith "Der Schwanendreher") and one of the two major Classical concertos (Stamitz D major, Hoffmeister). Learning this concerto would fill the Classical concerto requirement. I picked this one over Stamitz mostly for non-musical reasons: it turns out Hoffmeister was a lawyer, so I feel like I really should learn the one well-known viola concerto by a composer who shared my profession.

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