Practices

Grieg Trio Rehearsal

Today was very exciting!

My Grieg piano trio rehearsed with Stephen De Pledge at Auckland University today! Although he focused mainly on the pianist (which is fantastic as she’ll now be listening to the strings a little more), I managed to get a few main points from the hour:

  • The piece is made to flow through different tempos and emotions. You push in some parts, hold back in others.
  • The offbeats don’t need to be exact! As long as they are melodic, quiet and more ambient sound than anything, it’s appropriate and good (for want of a better word!)
  • We can take time! We know the music really well, and now is the perfect stage to experiment with the tempo and different aspects of the piece; these include the solo passages – it’s fine to place the octave jumps! It’s wonderful to take your time in the higher parts! We don’t need to rush!
  • There has never been a single performance of this piece of which all the notes are played in their correct spots! It is all relative, and notoriously difficult in the offbeat stanzas, so the effect is in the general emotion and feel/movement of the music.

We rehearsed in the performance room! This was the most wonderful part of the evening for it took me right back to when my father was studying his masters and I was dragged along to every practice; hiding in the heavy, red velvet curtains, reading in the seats with those charming, flippy desks.

– Phoebe P

News, Practices

Second Lesson of the Year

Well, hello followers of The Young Person’s Guide to the Cello! I have just had my second cello lesson of the year and would just love to share what I’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks.

I am currently working towards my Grade 7 ABRSM (Royal Schools) so I have learned the two Bourees of the Third Bach Suite, have just begun Largo by Veracini and am now working on Latin For Alex, which I intend to perform in an upcoming competition. I find that I am mostly practicing the clarity of the grace notes as well as rests. I practice this piece continuously with a metronome to work on timing as it’s one of those pieces that is incredibly dependent on precise timing – especially when it comes to playing with the piano! Openness of sound in the treble clef passages is another focus.

I am also working on Sevcik no. 13 (of which I use to practice sound quality and decisive shifting), scales, Piatti and shall begin further finger exercises and thumb position studies shortly.

I practice every day for 1-2 hours and I adore rehearsing my pieces and trio music. Shifting practice and serial control are both in frequent techniques and, being so tediously repetitive, I feel very sorry for those who have to listen in!

– Phoebe P