Weekly Report, #4. Scales and Arpeggios
Score Study: Britten came back on track and both Vivace and Passacaglia from Violin Concerto were marked, read and dissected. Further studies will commence. Also, I’ve perfected Bartok assignment (still waiting to be presented – my teacher is out on playing-and-recording project for straight two weeks so I’m working solely on my own for a while) and “Jesu Leiden” chorale which, apart from it’s obvious musical qualities, also provided me with a material for a score reading exercises and formal analysis.
Piano: I’ve decided that both Andante from Haydn’s sonata and my basic piano technique needs further polishing. In effect, time was spent practicing various scales with arpeggios, as well as putting Presto subsections of the movement up to the performance quality.
Music Theory/Harmony: serious stuff. This week was dedicated to a solid chunk of solfege exercises (filling blanks in aurally identified outlines of chords, using voice), intervals recognition, working out harmonic progressions by ear, various D7 resolutions performed on keyboard, voice-leading of D9 chords in cadences, and diatonic modulations from flats to sharps (on keyboard as well). I told you.
Reading: Adrian Boult. On Music. General title for a general book with pretty nifty specifics in it. Plus, what makes for a better compliment to an English music addiction than a book by one of most beloved English conductors ever? This is a lovely collection of broadcasts, talks and writings produced back in the days by venerable Sir Adrian Boult  and although written in style that may come across as a bit antiquated today, it still holds an obvious charm. Yet, the greatest qualities of this book lies in it’s content – pages are bursting with colourful anecdotes from the musical life of early 20th century England (Boult knew both Elgar and Vaughan Williams personally and worked with the latter), performance histories, quotes and assorted trivia. Apart from composers, Boult writes extensively about conductors (including composers-conductors , a quite popular phenomenon back in the days) and other musicians whom he encountered in this or another way. The two general chapters deal with the art of conducting and music in general, both of which provide much insight into Boult’s ideas, beliefs and zeitgeist of his time. A sure read.
 As a nice bonus, book also contains foreword and introduction written by, respectively, an old time BBC SO principal violist Bernard Shore and one of the finest English conductors, student of Adrian Boult himself – Vernon “Tod” Handley.
 Kenneth Woods great blog makes another appearance here which probably means that if you haven’t been already reading it – it’s a good time to start.