Telemann – Canonical Sonata I

Another video just out of the oven. I was a little bit in a hurry when I recorded this piece, but I am very happy with the result.

This short sonata composed by G. P. Telemann is the first in a set of 6 canonical sonatas (TWV 40: 118-123). They were first published in 1738. Each sonata is written as a two-voice canon, and was originally composed for 2 flutes or 2 violins. It has since then been arranged for different instruments. I play it here with 2 oboes.

The set of sonatas is also found under the titles 18 Canons Mélodieux or 6 Sonates en Duo (each sonata has three movements).  The Sheet music can be found at
http://imslp.org/wiki/18_Canons_Mélodieux,_TWV_40:118-123_(Telemann,_Georg_Philipp)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) – Canonical Sonata I, TWV 40: 118
1. Vivace
2. Adagio
3. Allegro

 

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Eccard – Der Tag, der is so freudenreich

Here is a short piece that I recorded this past week. It was written by Johannes Eccard (1553-1611) for 3 sopranos and 1 alto voices. I am playing here a transcription for 3 oboes and 1 English horn (I play all instruments in the recording). The sheet music for it can be found at:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Der_Tag_der_ist_so_freudenreich_(Eccard,_Johannes)

Since I don’t speak German, I didn’t know at the time of the recording, but this is a Christmas Chorale. Oh well, here goes a little early this year…

 

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Corelli – Sonata a Quattro

This video is my own recording of a sonata by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) originally composed for trumpet, two violins, and basso. I recorded it with an oboe, two mandolins, and an acoustic bass guitar (all of them played by yours truly).

This is my first music video on YouTube. It is not as polished as I would like but I wanted to post it. It is my intention to post more videos as I record them (and they all will be announced in this blog).

Here is then, Corelli’s Sonata a Quattro, WoO 4.
1. Adagio
2. Allegro
3. Grave
4. Allegretto
5. Allegro

Those interested can find the sheet music for it at
http://imslp.org/wiki/Sonata_a_Quattro,_WoO_4_(Corelli,_Arcangelo)

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Bach – Air on Bass String

I was having fun with my electric bass (Ibanez SR 506) and iPad a few days ago, and ended up recording Bach’s well-known Air on the G String in a three-voice version: bass-melody, bass-accompaniment, and bass-bass. Here is the result. Make sure your speakers or headphones have a good bass response or you may not be able to hear it well. Feel free to praise it or scorn it… 🙂

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SASO – Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

This is a long overdue post. After having graduated last December (2013) with my PhD in Educational Psychology, I’ve been enjoying some guilty-free music playing and ended up not keeping up with my blog. Well, I am back and I’ll try to post more often as my musical adventures lead the way.

On November 2013, I had the opportunity to play the first oboe part on one of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra’s concerts. It just happened that this particular concert was recorded in video and on a CD. The video that was posted on YouTube was the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major. This happens to be my favorite violin concerto and I am glad I had the chance to play it. So, I am reposting here its three movements. The amazing soloist is Edwin E. Soo Kim.

In addition to this concerto, one other piece that we played, among others, was John Rutter’s Mass of the Children, composed in 2003. I didn’t know this composition before we played it, but I was very impressed by it. Unfortunately, its video was not posted on YouTube, but other ensembles have posted it. It is an incredible piece worth listening to.

Without further ado, here is the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

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More wisdom from Victor Wooten

The more I read about Victor Wooten and watch his videos the more impressed and inspired I become with his wisdom. It is not the kind of a highly philosophical wisdom that aims to change humankind. It is very down to earth, simple, almost obvious: it has always been there but no one has talked about it.

In this video, the description on YouTube says:

Victor Wooten at Berklee College of Music (2012) – Victor (jazz, jazz fusion & funk bass player), was one of several professional musicians playing at a 2012 Berklee music clinic, when one young bass student ask him, “how do you learn to play with a groove”. Victor replied, “instead of me showing you, why don’t you come on stage and show me”. This led to the following unexpected music lesson in the attached video, it is spontaneous and well worth watching.

I watched the impromptu lesson at first without much expectations: just another bass guitar lesson. However, his explanation on “how to learn to play with a groove” struck a chord with me not only because I am a musician but because I am (or consider to be) an educator. He sais: “If you overthink something you can already do you’ll do it worse.” This is the premise of the lesson.

 

In classical music training, we place most of the emphasis on the technique, on the instrument, on exercises, and with that, we are hoping to create the basis for our music. I don’t deny that technical training is important, but the point Wooten makes is that to “play with groove” one has to transcend this technical aspect and practice as if playing with others, as if already “grooving.” After one overcomes the technical difficulty in a passage, the message is not to overthink about the technique but to focus on the music. In other words, forget about the instrument and play the music. In Wooten’s words, we are often “thinking of an instrument that has no music in it. … The music is in you.”

Going beyond the music area, in my job at a college I see many students going to talk to tutors to help them solve math problems (or chemistry problems, physics problems, …). As I watched the video, and after being in school for a very long time, a thought came to mind: we are doing in schools exactly the same thing we are doing when practicing music – we are overthinking the technique and seeing the “groove,” the real music or application as a consequence of having the technique. Memorizing formulas is the same thing as memorizing scales and arpeggios. They are the important foundation, but if we don’t have the practical use for them in a real situation (a job, a concert, a project), they are not serving any purpose. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t learn them. My point is that we have to learn to apply them and find opportunities to apply them, and more, as Wooten suggests, apply them without overthinking about the basics. Once we learn the “words” we have to use them in sentences and with others rather than simply uttering them over and over.

From another video of Victor Wooten:

“A lot of times we just learn a technique and we play it as a technique and that’s it, but the goal is to make music. So with every technique I want to always be able to turn it in to music. So I always try to find a musical way to practice.”
(http://youtu.be/U-N54p2YlQg)

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