Thursday, 30 August 2007

What do you call a viola player who ...

Been very busy since last blogging. Trying to avoid being struck off by Mac.

Did my tidying up at work on Tues and met the new member of the department, which was good. Home for cooking, mashed pots, stewed apples, veg and chisken risotto, all with 3 saucepans.

Yesterday, with food to Grandmas. She beat me on the word puzzle as often happens, taking our combined score up to average. We don't spend too long on it, that's my excuse at least. Must check today's paper for the answers we didn't get to the crossword. We had some great words that didn't fit.

Thence to the Proms to see the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orch and we all know who comes from Bavaria. I really like their conductor Mariss Jansons lots and lots. The Sibelius 2 in the second half was pretty great.

Today I went to a localish string shop in a cute Kent Village and bought a viola, case and bow. The whole outfit. It's new, Chinese and lovely. It was a relatively quick visit a mere 2 1/4 hours and I'm on cloud 9. I took my fiddle in too as it had a minor prob with one of the pegs.

I learnt lots too. They make violins there and showed me some wood they had bought to make a 'cello ( yes I am one of those people who believes that 'cello starts with an '.) I had to look carefully to see more than 4 planks of wood, but the two guys were oohing about what a beautiful instrument it would make. Really rhapsodising. My viola has a lovely flame at the back and they said every line is a winter in the life of the tree. It made me realise how much carving is involved for the front and back too, because the wood is quite thick. There's no rushing in the world of instruments. It's so different from noisy London.

The shop, like many music shops was stacked full of stuff. The two violas and three bows that I tried out were placed on top of boxes containing 4 , 1/4 size 'cellos. Nothing fell off thankfully. Had to be careful not to step back suddenly, kicking a case. Anyway, enough bowing room which is the main thing.

Turned out that the owner had some of the school violins in and knows the 'Cello Teacher. Anyway, due to circumstances, I was given a 10% discount enabling me to buy the more expensive instrument and bow. Lucky me!

So no viola jokes here please.

I already have blisters on the finger tips of my left hand and I have to learn the first mvt of the Schumann Piano Quartet. Ouch. And, you're only as good as your last concert, which was on the horn and was disappointing, sadly. Practice, the solution to most musical probs.

Did I say I liked Mariss Jansons? Meeting my Aunt to hear him again doing Beethoven 9 tonight. Just pleased that I'm not screaming the top As at the end. Being an alto has its compensations.

Back to work next week, so life will be less exciting, but I'll still be playing this gorgeous instrument.

My viola awaits.

5 comments:

Mac McLernon said...

Nope, you're safe... for the moment! I'm especially lenient towards baby bloggers...

leutgeb said...

Lucky me, phew.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Mac rules the UK Catholic Blogosphere like a ferocious Amazon, striking us of her list right, left and centre. So kind, but terrifying!

leutgeb said...

Well quite, Father, but she responds well to tea and cakes, fortunately.

Thanks for dropping by. I really like reading your blog, btw, especially as you are a musician I believe. Was that a gamba I saw a while back?

I should declare that I am the Catholic Head of Music whose comment you published as a post last Autumn. Thankyou. No longer in the Catholic sector or a Head of Dept, but still a Catholic and a Music Teacher.

Also, I met a couple of your parishoners at a Joanna Bogle do in London and we talked blogs. I was very impressed that they knew you, whilst I was able to boast of my friendship of the aforementioned Blog Monitor. Celebrity Culture or what?!

Boeciana said...

Salvete Leutgeb! Came across your blog via Mulier Fortis. How exciting to find another blogging viola player! Though you presumably play properly whereas I am a total amateur who conforms to viola stereotype, unfortunately.