Sunday, June 24, 2007
Week 25 of year 2007 on the double bass
d'Bassists. Photo taken by Carcar on 30 May 2007.
17 Jun 2007, Sun: In the earlier part of the day, I practised the entire Marcello's Sonata in G major, taking time to practise the more challenging parts for at least several times.
Later in the afternoon, I practised Faure's Sicilienne. The goals were to improve the intonation and to have a steady sense of rhythm. The minor seventh melodic interval was one of the more challenging leaps to make on the double bass.
19 Jun 2007, Tue: Less than an hour after I returned home from work, I started practising at abou 10.10 p.m. I continued to practise Faure's Sicilienne to work on the intonation and the rhythm, but this time I practised a different section from the one that I had practised on 17 Jun 2007.
I also spent some time practising the double bass solo part from the third movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 1. I can now play it much better than when I had played it about three years ago for my ABRSM Grade 6 double bass practical exams.
20 Jun 2007, Wed: Prior to double bass sectional, I practised Faure's Sicilienne, focusing on yet another section.
As XM was attending to some matters at the start of the double bass sectional, I have had the privilege to play Faure's Sicilienne for Mr GM since the scores were anyway right in front of me on the music stand. Mr GM has a very wise and insightful way of looking at the rhythm and at the phrasing that instantaneously brought me to see more light in this piece of music. More work on the intonation and the rhythm.
Then, when XM joined us, we practised the third and fourth movements of Mahler's First Symphony. I beg your pardon, aside from that double bass solo in the third movement, I don't remember playing anything composed by Mahler in my entire nine years with the orchestra. It was a refreshing sectional since it was my first time playing two movements from one of Mahler's Symphonies. There was a sense of primitive energy in his music, I felt.
Then for orchestra rehearsal, I had my chance to play the double bass solo!
For the orchestra rehearsal, we managed to sight-read much of the third and fourth movements from Mahler's First Symphony. For a first reading, it was commendable that the orchestra did not break down at some of those awfully difficult passages.
22 Jun 2007, Fri: I practised selected passages from the first movement from Keyper's Romance and Rondo. The goal was to work on improving the intonation and to practise keeping to the time. While the practice was only about 30 minutes, it was quite a fruitful one for I've found my intonation improving to some extent. I was also more expressive in playing the selected passages.
23 Jun 2007, Sat: I continued from yesterday's practice, and played selected passages from the first movement from Keyper's Romance and Rondo. Afterwhich, I practised the second movement from Keyper's Romance and Rondo, at a relatively slow tempo so that I can focus on the intonation. I am looking forward to play Romance and Rondo with my friend who have kindly agreed to be my piano accompanist for my upcoming exams.
In summary, I have managed to achieve my target of practising at least four days per week, for at least 15 minutes per day on each of these four days.
There is a bugging thought that I would like to have time for more practising, until I start to wonder if I should consider taking up a degree in double bass performance. I am feeling ambivalent.