Yesterday I rented a viola from David Kerr Violin Shop
. My plan is to try to play it for a month, and if I enjoy it, try to get my old viola back from my parents and join the Oregon Sinfonietta
. If I don't enjoy it, I'm only out about 65 bucks.
I just tried practicing it for the first time this afternoon. My intonation sucks, but that's to be expected given that I've been away from the instrument for about nine years. To my pleasant surprise, I still remember pretty well what to do with my hands. In fact, I'm rather astonished that I can still sight-read the Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies that I worked on when I was first learning to play.
My chief obstacle at this point is a physical one: I have lost all the neck calluses I need to hold the instrument up, not to mention the left-hand finger strength I need to actually play it. 15 minutes at a time is all I can manage right now. Hopefully that will come back pretty quickly.
My other obstacle to working on the viola is all the cool piano music that I feel like playing instead. I have been working on these fabulous pieces:
- Nocturne Opus 9 #1 in Bb minor, Chopin (which several of you heard me play at Horace Phair V)
- Children's Corner, Debussy
- Impromptu Opus 90 #1 in C minor, Schubert
- Prelude and Fugue numbers 1 and 2 from the Well Tempered Clavier, J. S. Bach
- Solace, Scott Joplin
- Concerto in G minor for two cellos and piano, RV 531, Vivaldi
- Tarantella for cello and piano, Opus 23, Squire
- Sonata in E minor for cello and piano, Opus 38, Brahms