|Bass Section Playing at the Spring Concert|
With my practice load considerably lighter (both Ensemble and Cello Choir are finished until the fall), I can concentrate on Bach and Popper. I have the Prelude to the third Bach Suite memorized; I can play it through acceptably without the music. Now I have to work on tempo and musicality. At my teacher's suggestion I will take sections of the piece and work on them separately to polish them. I'm closing in on finishing Popper's Opus 76 etudes (he designated them 'preparatory' to the HS of Cello Playing, although he wrote them after he wrote the HS etudes). I'm working the final two etudes (9 and 10) at the same time. #9 has an arpeggio pattern with a tune that is reminiscent of one of the earlier etudes; I'm using what I learned about target notes in #8 to reach the high notes accurately. The special difficulty of this piece is the key signature of 5 flats, no open strings or harmonics to help you find pitches. Only C and F and not flatted! Etude 10 is especially nice; it's a chromatic exercise, but is lovely and tuneful and a pleasure to learn.
I will miss my group playing this summer. I hope to get together some with friends to play informally, maybe practice a few solo pieces with a pianist friend, and maybe play in a summer reading session with the local chamber orchestra. All things to look forward to!