Early days to be bouncing around with glee, but I’m going to allow myself just a little bounce tonight!

Though some elements of today’s class were still rather painful, my Moyse Nos. 2 and 4, and Andersen No. 3 before lunch were finally deemed ‘expressive’ and got a smile out of Trevor. Yay!

In terms of what I did to play expressively – from my point of view I was overdoing everything. The crescendos and diminuendos were enormous, and all I was thinking about was the phrasing and musical direction. The Andersen study, as a result, was utterly exhausting. I put absolutely everything (or what felt like it) into my fortes, and when Trevor finally stopped me halfway through the second page to say that it sounded ‘quite good’, I was almost panting. Of course, there were still things that needed work – articulation, evenness of notes, not slowing down before I took a breath – but I was genuinely happy to have got the meaning of that particular study. As I said in yesterday’s post, the interrelationship between the different layers of phrasing is tricky, and several others in the class were asked to work on it for another week.

So some things to learn from this:

– I’m clearly still thinking about how things sound from my point of view as the performer and not from the point of view of the audience. I need to keep working (with all I’ve got it seems) to project my feelings about the music to the audience, even though it feels over-the-top for me.

– I can definitely feel the effects of my lesson with Carla! Yesterday’s new-found forte is definitely a result of our work on alto flute and breathing.

– Dynamic range is incredibly important, as is using it fully to communicate ideas.

– Knowing that Trevor is a harsh teacher makes it all the better when I do finally get a complement.

So…the work continues tomorrow, as there is still plenty of it to do. We’ve got Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy and the Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben aria from Bach’s St Matthew Passions to contend with on Thursday, as well as a looming sonata class with Juliet Edwards, for which I’m playing the first movement of the Poulenc Sonata. Then, of course, there’s all the various scales and finger exercises.

For now though, I’m going to give myself a little reward and catch up on some Dr Who!

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