Day 164 – March 13th – Wibb and Whist

It has been another long day with both a final group trip up to London for Wibb’s masterclass and the Hastingleigh whist night. I didn’t come away with any prizes in whist, but had a nice time.

Hopefully I’ll have more time to reflect on the masterclass tomorrow. We heard the entire Bach E minor sonata, and I really feel like I got a lot out of Wibb’s teaching on this piece. I also feel like I was noticing much more of the things that Wibb then commented on in the students’ playing.

Day 101 – January 9th – Wind and whist

Just got back from whist, and feeling rather in need of an early night after all that went on yesterday.

Today felt a little lazy, though I still managed to get four hours of practice done as well as making carrot and lentil soup, and skyping with some friends. This week I’m making an effort to spend more time on the Moyse articulation studies (Bach variations), which always get left until the last minute because there aren’t loads of notes to learn. The result is that my rhythms will be off, or right for the first bar and them fall apart. So this week they’re being practiced directly after the Moyse 25 Melodic Studies instead, and will hopefully get quite a bit more time as a result. It’s been incredibly windy all afternoon, and very much the sort of day for staying inside snuggly and warm.

Whist was good fun, and as always I enjoyed chatting with all the older villagers. Alas, this month wasn’t as good for my score; I only got 148 and so didn’t manage any prizes. Tomorrow, I hope, will be a little more productive. I’ll also get round to writing a review of last night’s concert!

Day 73 – December 12th – Whist

Another late night and with it no desire to write a long post! We’re just back from the monthly whist drive, which was good fun. I didn’t do as well as last time (back in October), but did manage to come away with a packet of Sainsbury’s Turkish Delight Thins for getting the highest score in the first half of the evening. More importantly, though, I had a lovely time chatting with some of the other villagers, and supper there was a lovely treat!

The rest of the day wasn’t terribly productive – I did a few hours practice in the morning, though it felt like I was just showing myself how much work I have to do rather than really achieving much. One of my Altès studies for this week is all slurred octaves, and I need to remember not to cut the second note of the slur but to make it softer. Easy in theory, but whole strings of them at speed is rather doing my head in! In the afternoon we had a rehearsal for Tuesday’s concert, though I think it’s got to the point where everyone is mentally a sick of the repertoire. Hopefully our excitement will reignite in time for the concert itself.

Tomorrow we’re off bright and early to London – there’s a coach going from the village and it means we get a day there for £10 return. I’m looking forward to it; catching up with friends, Christmas shopping, hopefully some time for the National Gallery. I think it’ll be good for everyone to let off some steam.

Then hopefully I’ll find a bit of time to write about the Rachel Brown masterclass!

Day 10 – October 10th – Whist

A short one tonight, as I’ve just got back from a night out at the monthly village whist drive. I did’t expect it to go quite so long, but it’s a full evening’s worth. For two pounds entry, one gets to play 24 hands of whist, against some seriously seasoned village players, as well as supper after the 12th hand. I’m not a total newcomer to the game – my grandad taught me how to play when I was about five – and somehow managed to get enough good hands to come equal fourth. My prize: a massive rhubarb crumble scented candle! My room is going to smell wonderful.

Between whist in the evening and my run (compete with surprise downpour) in the morning, I got in a good solid five hours of practice. Four of them were spent on exercises and scales, they’re endless! I can feel all the muscles in my fingers afterwards though, so hopefully the practice is working. The final hour was mostly spent playing some of the Moyse 24 as expressively as I possibly could in preparation for Monday.

Oh, and I thought I was going to have it easy with repertoire this week, as I’ve played the Marais Folies d’Espagne before. Alas, I’ve played the unaccompanied version, which is in E minor, and we’re doing the other one in G minor. Most of the variations are the same, but my ease of playing the trills has gone out the window. Probably a good job it’s due to rain on the weekend!