December 15, 2013

Classical Music for the Soul + a Touch of Nostalgia

Writing college essays really forces you to sometimes to really look at yourself and evaluate who've you become over all these years so far. To adults, 17 years old may still seem young, but it doesn't mean we can't still get nostalgic over our childhood. By childhood I mean the young young years when we were in second grade. One of my college essay prompts somehow led me to think about how I miss being young and being completely carefree. I have this one memory of just playing in my room with my stuffed animals while the summer sun shone into all four corners of my room and a breeze crept through my open window. At the time, it was just a typical day. But looking back, it's a precious memory of something that reminds me of my childhood. 

Now for those who don't know, I've been playing violin ever since I was four. It's been a long time and I've done a lot with it. I won't divulge into an entire resume but I have worked hard with music and I guess you can say I've developed a relationship with it. I don't practice much these days, actually basically never, but when I start feeling nostalgic or sad over sentimental things like this, I just get this urge to whip out my instrument and play something. I just had a lesson with my violin teacher yesterday and we read through the Dvorak Concerto in A minor and Bach Sonata No.1. Today I whipped out those two pieces and literally poured my heart into them. I feel like playing the violin really helps me to just let my emotions out, especially when the piece truly conveys what I'm feeling. 

I'm going to link some famous violinists playing two movements of the Dvorak Concerto and the Bach Sonata because I think they really convey the nostalgia, sadness, bitterness, and every emotion that is related to loss. I've never really had any piece of music mean anything to me but I've finally found meaning in this one. And it helped me to resolve all my feelings in a way since I was able to just get them out of my mind and into the notes.

If you don't listen to classical music or just don't get what I'm saying even as you are listening to the pieces, don't worry about it. Every piece of music has a different meaning for everyone. Maybe you can listen for what the piece means to the player in the videos (:

Dvorak Concerto Movement 1: played by Kyung-Wha Chung

Dvorak Concerto Movement 2: played by Itzhak Perlman

There's a movement 3 as well but I felt that it doesn't really apply as much. If you search for it on Youtube though, you'll probably recognize it (: 

Bach Sonata No. 1 (Adagio, Fuga, Presto) played by Isaac Stern & Itzhak Perlman 

Bach Sonata No. 1 is really tough as is most of Bach's compositions since Bach composed it partly to show pianists that violinists don't need them: we can play three even four notes sometimes to accompany ourselves. On violin, playing four even three or two notes is really difficult. It's also really nerve racking to play this piece, especially from memory, because there are just so many variations of the same theme and so many notes to memorize. It's a daunting task. Stern is even sweating at some point in the video! Even though it may not sound totally clean the way he plays it, I think it shows the passion that he's try to convey.

Here's Itzhak Perlman's way of playing the same piece. I like his style slightly more because it's similar to how I would play it personally.

These are probably two of my favorite classical pieces for the violin. I hope you liked them even if they're not pop, country, alternative rock, or some other genre of music ~ Give classical music a chance (:

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