Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lesson notes

So let's see. Played some of my scales. We talked about tone in the upper register, and tried to fix my embouchure again. Apparently I tend to press straight down with the lips, rather than having lips wrapped around teeth, and just placed against the reed to seal, basically without pressing. This lets the reed vibrate as much as possible, like a cymbal, which is damped by something soft like a finger, but can ring and ring when placed against something hard. And we changed one of my fingerings back, B4, putting back the Eb vent that we removed a few weeks ago, trying to get the pitch correct when doing D minor scale. So that'll be some weeks of practice to work through. I'm still not totally comfortable with the other fingering changes, in particular adding the Eb vent on D3 and D#3, so there's plenty to work on. We added one more scale, Bb, plus its relative (melodic) minor and arpeggios.

We spent a good deal of time on Milde 2, which I knew reasonably well since it's been three weeks. Stuff I learned: the bottom notes of the arpeggios should be treated like a cello, which would let them ring on a low string while completing the notes on another. We can't do that exactly, but with a certain amount of weight and lengthening of note (but not accent) you can kind of give that effect. Pay attention to where the cadences are: the line needs to resolve, and the big note is the first note of the bar ending the cadence, not the top of the run which leads from it.

Spend some time on Elgar too. I played all the way through it without stopping, and with little in the way of clams; it's mostly not that hard. The runs I'm to practice v.e.r.y.s.l.o.w.l.y, I guess my faking wasn't clean enough. Still lots of detailed phrasing that I don't get until after it's been freshly demonstrated; it'll be work to internalize it. The fortes need to really open up, open throat, tight embouchure, breath support. Marlon Brando shouting "Stella!" at one point (C?), a reference I don't get, but I guess I could google it. I'm starting to feel like this piece is approaching an equilibrium, not there yet, but getting there. Some parts make no sense without the piano, hope to get that sorted out some time.

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