Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Nature of Music

In the musical world, competition is something you might expect. We willingly sign ourselves up for competitions, and go to concerts to hear other musicians perform. Every time we hear someone else play the violin, we instantly think “I want her intonation!” ‘I want her sound quality!” “She can play so fast!”  What we don’t realize everyone looks at us the same way when we play. When I am performing, I see the worst aspects of my performance magnified and I truly believe everyone else see’s this also. In fact, others see the performance the way it really was, which probably isn’t as bad as you think. Even if you don’t have a great performance, others will be much more forgiving of you than you will be.

What we also don’t realize is what goes on behind the scenes of the performance. Maybe your friend who you thought played amazingly, practices six hours every day. That is the reason she became amazing. If you only practice two hours a day and are upset because your friends who practice more are improving faster, their practice is the reason for the improvement.

I want to be a violinist more than I have ever wanted anything in my entire life. Sometimes I  don’t want to do my homework, so I wait and do it Saturday night or Suanday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon. Sometimes I don’t want to go for a run, so I do it later. These things are important to me, but I don’t have as great of a motivation to do them. With music, it is easy for me to get up and go practice because I know I have to. I know that if I don’t, everything I dream of could go away. Even at 5:00 in the morning when I really don’t want to get up I do because I have a dream that my life will one day be great. My life will be great because of what I am doing today. This day of dedication and work, and ultimately joy is the reason that I will ultimately achieve my goal.

Instead of comparing myself to other students who may be better than me, it is importnat to realize the work that I put in and the improvments I am making in my playing slowly every day, every week and every year.

Concert Review: Gil Shaham plays Bartok Violin Concerto no 2

Last night I had the amazing opportunity to not only hear the amazing violinist Gil Shaham play, but also meet him after his performance! He played Bartoks second violin concerto wonderfully! His performance packed a huge amount of personality into the 30 minutes he was given, and here are some of my other thoughts on his performance.

When Gil Shaham walked on the stage, and he looked happy to be there, not at all nervous as I might have expected.He had great communication with Yannick, the conductor,which was fun to see. In the first movement, he used a number of different techniques that were all executed  perfectly to share his idea of the concerto with audiences. At times he played so softly that he was barely heard, but the audience was quite in these special moments and he was heard throughout the hall. Other times, his playing was rough and heavy, but to audiences further away, the toughness went away and all that was heard the was the power and evenness of his eight notes. His cadenza was well planned and executed and was very techichally flashy, ending this movement with a real bang!

The second movement begins with a beautiful theme, and then goes into hysterics. Gil passionately showed all of the characteristics of this movement with perfect technique. This whole concerto was very clean and perfected so that his musical ideas could really shine through. Overall his performance was a success, but what intrigued me most was not his technical skills but his pure enjoyment of his time on the stage!