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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Buzzing Reed - Very Slowly

David H Thomas is the blogmeister of Buzzing Reed, a place where he notates his thoughts on tone, temperament, and pitch - he is the Principal Clarinet in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, based in Ohio. Now, I like reading about guys who can do the job, and all the fussy details of practicing and syncing with a group, I can lead many vicarious lives this way. Just one problem with Mr Thomas' writing efforts - he's a little stingy. I mean 8 posts in 6 months?!?!

Great insight into the Reedy Clarinet, I'll be setting my calendar for next month. Until then, check out this fresh post from only 2 weeks ago. Here.


Shostakovich Preludes

The Shostakovich Preludes opus 34 are a poor relative of the grander set of Preludes and Fugues op 87. And this evaluation is quite justified - the later set is in homage to Bach, and features all the mastery and originality of a learned composer, this early set opus 34 was written before Shostakovich was 30, and bears its lineage from Chopin. The figurations are all Chopin, and so too is the clean separation of hands, a definite base, and a clear melodic line. But unlike Chopin, these 24 Preludes are arranged in a definite order, here through the circle of 5ths, and different from Bach, who set the Well-Tempered in semi-tones.

The Preludes begin and end well, and should be performed as a piece, but there is the dreaded dull middle section, where 3 and 4 time alternate, and there is too much of a saminess in this run.

Worth studying, grab the 40 page PDF here.


Cello Journey - Episode 7

There's something about me that thrives on the works of enthusiasts. They can do an equally adept job as the professional, and quite often they have had exactly the same training, but doing something for the pure joy of the experience, unsullied by the sense of job or gain, is something like a divine meditation. Too fanciful? Then come take a walk with me, we'll step outside, and head off for a Cello Journey.

Cello Journey is a week/bi-weekly video-cast by canadian Luke Stanley. He posts them up on youTube, although he also has a higher-definition version on his own website. Being a cellist, he loves the work of JS Bach, although he's done a couple of pieces now by David Popper, 19C Bohemian. Today's vidcast is a Tarantella, an Italian dance which has a frenetic, explosive ending. Good fun, and watch the deft fingerwork.

Come take a Cello Journey, here.