Didn't really do anything technical last week during practise so when Deryn asked what I wanted to do today and I exclaimed, "double stops!" - it wasn't really the answer she was expecting.
Although she was impressed by my response, most ppl would probably prefer playing something fun instead, like sight reading some duets to end the year. Since that sounded like a much better idea, we went for that option instead :P
Of course, she wouldn't say no if I wanted to say, analyse David Popper pieces or take a closer look at artificial harmonics so I might take her up for that though she did warn me that I might regret what I wish for.
We spent the whole of today sight reading duets, a proper treat indeed! Wish I was better at it so we could have played a lot more pieces that way. In between playing, Deryn spoke about the court musicians who were hired by royal patrons that had to be super prolific in composing new pieces for the numerous and constant events and balls so some of the pieces were questionable, especially the ending. There's just so much quality one can compromise for quantity.
One of the pieces included was a Telemann, the father of all canon, canon. Beautiful and mesmerizing but stop paying attention even for a little while and you'll get lost in the score, trying to pick up the pace and failing.
A canon score for 2 cellos (or other instruments) is usually just a single staff of notes; ie. it looks as if the piece is written for a single instrument, for example - here's one by Gabrielli.
So where or when does the second cellist come in? See that strange figure in the second bar? Well, once the first cellist finishes the first bar, that's the cue for the second cellist to start the first bar. This is why it gets a little confusing when you lose your place in the music - there isn't another staff line to depend on. Another set of notes written above (or below) your set of notes to help you find home. It's linear reading now, no longer vertical.
Then there's also the auditory feedback loop where everything just sounds like an echo of everything else. Or maybe it's just me :}
Anyway, Deryn brought up a devilish little Canon Inverso by Mozart from the Cello Duet book. To play as the second (or first) cellist, one had to flip the book upside down to play their score. Mozart was always up to such high jinks, he was cheeky, humourous and quite possibly the first freelancer of the time. Not wanting to be stuck to one court like most musicians preference of stability, he was always trying something new.
Learning the cello as an adult started as a dare but has now turned into an ongoing love affair; I hope to one day make her sing to her full potential. In the meantime, all spare time and moments are dedicated to this wonderful instrument as I am unable to think about anything else, much to the dismay of my other half :}
This is an attempt to remember the classes I have taken so that I don't forget.