Sunday, February 11, 2007

Week Six of 2007 on the doublebass

I've managed to reach my target, but I hope I could have time to practise more frequently.

4 Feb 2007, Sun: Practised Marcello's Sonata in G major and first half of Faure's Sicilienne. I still need more work on Faure's Sicilienne. 40 minutes of practice on the double bass.

6 Feb 2007, Tue: After a long day at work, I have managed to find 30 minutes to practise on the double bass. It was fun playing the Rondo movement of Keyper's Romance and Rondo.

7 Feb 2007, Wed:There was double bass sectional that day and it felt nice that we spent time working on Hindemith's Trauermusik for Viola and Orchestra. I like the dark colours of the music, and by the way, I delight to share that we will be playing the Singapore Premiere of Hindemith's Trauermusik in our orchestra's upcoming concert, Sturm und Drum.

Our dear double bass tutor, GM, got us to play passages from Sibelius' Symphony No. 2. Initiailly, I had thought it would be an easy affair, but I realised GM has great insights. Those passages are actually more challenging than they seem. Soon, before I realised, double bass sectional that was one-hour in duration was over.

For orchestra tutti rehearsal that evening felt a little empty. For some reasons, there was no cellist showing up for rehearsal until the later half of the rehearsal. It felt weird to a double bass player that there is no cello to serve as a bridge between the higher strings and the double basses.

Anyway, we rehearsed Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture, and I was trying hard to count correctly while trying to manage a slight headache. It was satisfying to hear how the overture is taking shape, and sounding better with each rehearsal.

We worked on the third and fourth movement of Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 that evening too. In hope to play a few of the most difficult sections better, I went up to the conductor after the rehearsal to consult him. He shared some insights on how to play that syncopated section that bridges the third movement and the the fourth movement. For what I gather, it seem that the whole idea is not to push. Accuracy in counting does not necessary work in such sections. The better way is to listen to the main melody, and come in approximately between the pulses of the melody. The advice does make sense, the challenge would be that of putting it into practice.

8 Feb 2007, Thu: Double bass lesson for the day proved to be a recharging one. I am glad that I have managed to play the entire Marcello's Sonata in G major in one single seating.

I am feeling that I have been short of time to do the things I wish to. I realised that I need a little more rest of late so as to nurse my state of health. Maybe working on keeping my body in a good state of health would make my practices on the double bass more effective and efficient?

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