Saturday, June 28, 2008

Week 26 of year 2008 on the double bass

22 Jun 2008, Sun: It was a rainy day and poor health kept me indoors. Somehow, it felt like a practice day for me. I was in the momentum to practise. I managed to work through most of the cadenza written by Ludwig Streicher of the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto. I also spent time practising the first and second movement of the concerto. It is a concerto that I have a liking for, and I could consider playing it for DipLCM if I could find other suitable pieces to play for DipLCM.

In the evening, I practised the first movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in F. The concerto sounds so much richer when played in the key of F major as compared to the key of D major.

After hearing my tutor playing an extract from the first movement of Bottesini's Second concerto last Thursday, I am inspired to purchase a copy of the scores to practise playing it myself. Here's a rendition of Bottesini's Second Concerto by Robert Ryan Ashley.

Bottesini Concerto No. 2 Bottesini for Double Bass. Performed by Robert Ryan Ashley on January 17, 2008 with UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra.

23 Jun 2008, Mon: I continued to practise the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto. Prior to that, I was playing a few tunes from Hartley's Double Bass Book 1. Eventually, the bugging headache got me to stop before my head protests.

25 Jun 2008, Wed: It has been a while since I have double bass sectional with Mr GM, and like every lesson with him, his lesson inspires. He shared with me concepts of tuning the double bass such as listening for the intervals between octaves and fifths, and about harmonics. He even shared why electronic music while can be very perfect in intonation and rhythm, just sound not right. When playing on acoustic instruments, musicians often strive for perfection yet there is no absolute mechanical perfection. Strangely, I inferred that there is beauty in imperfection.

It has been enriching and exciting to learn from him during the sectional for he has the gift of making seemingly not-too-difficult orchestra parts come alive. He shared with me the possibilities of producing more interesting music simply by getting me to pay more attention to aspects such as articulation and dynamics. We spent the entire sectional working on Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" Overture and there was a lot to learn. I won't realise that the traditional way to play a particular passage is to use the sul ponticello technique (play below the bridge). It was enlightening when he told me so. Many thanks to Mr GM for his guidance.

Mr F conducted the orchestra rehearsal that followed after the double bass sectional. We played Rossini's The Thieving Magpie Overture and "The Barber of Seville" Overture, Smetana's The Moldau, and an arrangement of tunes from the movie Schindler's List. I have a liking for melancholic tunes and the music from Schindler's List just continued to ring in my ears. Hopefully, we would play these work for our upcoming concert in September. Mr F conducted in slightly different styles compared to our Resident Conductor. While I prefer a more reserved and refined style, it felt exciting to experience a different approach to music.

26 Jun 2008, Thu: During double bass lesson with MJ, I have got to work on the cadenza of the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto. I prefer the second movement to the first movement of this concerto. MJ showed me how to play the arpeggio section that involves use of harmonics.

MJ also demonstrated to me how to play Osborne's Gargoyles. Hopefully I would soon learn how to play contemporary pieces at sight just like MJ did. I was impressed.

27 Jun 2008, Fri: I spent some time practising on the double bass particularly to work on the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto.

28 Jun 2008, Sat: It was a special day as I have a kind listener in Eastcoastlife. I think I would still need to practise more so as to achieve a level of playing that would capture the hearts of any listener.

It seemed that Eastcoastlife likes the first movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto. I wish I wasn't struggling with some of the passages technically so that I could play the entire movement for her without much glitch. The answers to overcome the technical difficulties would be more rounds of effective practice to achieve better playing.

Thanks to Eastcoastlife for taking the time to listen. Many thanks to her and her husband for the treat to dinner at Al Forno thereafter though they should not have. The food there tastes flavourful. I've found out that the sauces were made by hand, and the pizzas are fire-baked over wood.


eastcoastlife said...

Glad you enjoy the dinner.
Hope to have you play double bass again at my place. I appreciate your putting time aside and bringing your huge musical instrument to my house. I'm so touched. :)

Sent you the photos.

oceanskies79 said...

Eastcoastlife: My pleasure. You have touched me in many ways as well. I hope my playing would improve and I shall play the concerto you like in one complete piece.

Thank you for the dinner company and treat once again.