Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kol Nidrei

Amanda was a welcome oasis, great to have her back.

I really like this piece. Kol Nidrei. Jewish melodies, German composer Max Bruch. Under the hint that I might be performing this, I bought the CD and attempted to “Suzukize” it – translation: play by ear. Done this sort of thing before, but not with a piece I’m not yet familiar with, and nothing this extensive. And not quite the same thing as jamming every other Monday where to some extent, nothing is “wrong” if you play it “right”. No room for error here. Plus, you have to avoid playing with the recording, because of the recording's discrepancy in tuning.

Came with a price. Five hours of practice. At least another three of just listening and going back, listening again. And to nothing else. After actually getting and memorizing most of notes, there's continual fidgeting in getting the right octave since the original is for the cello. Damn it, they should write more stuff for us. And good stuff too. Couldn’t go to sleep at 1am because I forgot a phrase. There’s something about this music. Moonlight? Mellow. Arpeggione? Darker. Rossini’s Stabat Mater? OK, sad. Kol Nidrei? There’s stuff here beyond pain and suffering. There’s a hint of anger because of pain and suffering – which somehow is more potent than say, some imagery of just anger in Brahms. Yoda got the order wrong. But there’s something… wrong with this piece. That sounds right.

Five hours is not out of the ordinary for people in this field. This though, is poisonous. Five hours later, I was pissed off, and the problem was that I didn’t know where it came from – or better put, with nothing to blame.

That, and cracking a coffee glass, slippery salmon that tried to swim on my carpet, slipping in the tub, a maggot in my dinner topped with a laugh from the shop seller, being ripped off by a taxi driver, and being mildly burnt twice, in the last 48 hours.

The chords resolve, but little else does.

Dark... but beautiful.


bratsche said...

Funny. I was at my teacher's house last night, and of all his recently recorded stuff, he chose to play us Kol Nidrei (which I was not at all familiar with, BTW). Utterly beautiful if extremely painful. What do you have to play it for? I'm sure you'll find a copy here fairly easily.

eg9 said...

Kol Nidre? sounds fascinating so far. Must remind myself to look it up.

AF said...

Actually, JDA, if the "hint" works out (a big "IF"), and other plans also materialize, and I can beg my masters advisor to let me go, you'll be able to catch the performance yourself. Soon too. Heh heh. Tell ya next week.

I can get the score? For viola? Actually, this playing by ear is a good experience, gets straight to the sound. The Du Pre recording I have is with a orchestral reduction (grrr) and there's another here with Fournier (spelling? and not my taste).

Sneexe, you'll have to look under cello concertos (Dvorak, Elgar, etc.) to find it, most likely - or CDs featuring a particular cellist.

This is becoming the best stuff I've ever played.