Day 106 – January 14th – The Theory of Everything

Had a lovely time this evening going to see The Theory of Everything with Sue from Hastingleigh – what a wonderful and though-provoking film! As a bonus, the sun was out in the afternoon, I was able to walk over the Sue and Paul’s, and Paul had made spicy lentil and coconut soup for supper before we headed off. As always, it was lovely to spend time with the Boxalls, especially since things have been so quiet here the last few days.

Tomorrow we’re back into the swing of things with lessons, and I hope that my efforts to prepare a little more over the extra days will be balanced by my having prepared well. I’ve been listening back to some older recordings lately – particularly of my first MMus recital in December 2013 – and can now hear a whole lot of things in my playing that I couldn’t hear before. Things like clipped endings of phrases and slightly incorrect rhythms. Hopefully this means that I’ve corrected the problems in my playing now, or at least am on the way to doing it!

Trevor threw us something of a curved ball today, emailing to let us know that we have a class with Juliet Edwards next Friday. All of a sudden another thing to prepare for, and at rather short notice! I feel like this is part of the plan, and then email also came with repertoire suggestions for each of us. Mine were either the Andante Pastoral et Scherzetto by Taffanel or a movement of the Widor Suite. I really like both pieces, and am rather tempted by the challenge of preparing the Taffanel despite there being relatively more notes. We’ll see what Trevor says about it all tomorrow.

As for my reply email to Trevor, I was feeling a little creative, and since he’s had laryngitis I thought a poetic get well soon message was in order:

Mr Wye had an affliction of the throat,
Which made him sound quite a bit like a goat,
He coughed and he spluttered,
Yet “lovely day” he still uttered,
In the jovial emails he wrote!

Day 15 – October 15th – Wise words from Wibb

Another short one: today we headed up to London to watch William Bennett’s flute masterclass at the Royal Academy of Music, and with that and the travel time it was a very busy day!

We heard eight flute students across both undergrad and postgrad perform, and it was really interesting to see both the choice of repertoire and the level of playing. In general, I found the repertoire choice quite narrow: Ibert, Hüe, Gaubert and Dutilleux made for a lot of early 20th century French music, and there wasn’t really anything terribly adventurous for the offering. Nor, for that matter, was there anything Baroque or Classical, though I wonder whether, with such a strong Early Music department, the RAM students might be less keen on playing such works?

The standard of playing was overall incredibly high, and several of the students were really impressive. In the afternoon session, nobody said what year level they were in, but there was a stunningly sensitive performance of the third movement of the Widor Suite by a girl that looked pretty new, as well as a student with amazing technical facility performing the Dutilleux Sonatine.

As for Wibb, he is a great teacher, with a very keen sense of the masterclass environment as well. He was humorous, and seemed keen to put students at their ease one stage. That said, he was also very particular about intonation, and how one should phrase! Aesthetically, very similar to Trevor, but with something of a different method of delivery!

More tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll also have lots to say about our own class, Brahms 4 and Les Folies d’Espagne!