When I was choosing the pieces for this month challenge I was very excited. After practicing the pieces for a short while I realized that they are really challenging and I would like to polish them little more, especially the surprise piece – Czardas by Monti and I’ve chosen other piece instead. As an extra I will share how does Czardas sound like after month of practice. Accolay wasn’t so much easier – ten days after February has ended I finally managed to record my last two pieces. Anyway I’ve learned 14 pages of music this month and I don’t know how I managed to work on it all.

04. Veracini – Gigue – RCM grade 7

Gigue in d minor is the fourth part of a sonata in d minor. Francesco Maria Veracini was baroque Italian composer and violinist. He is most known for his set of violin sonatas. Gigue is an upbeat dance originating from British gig. It’s usually written in 3/4 or 6/8.

This piece was a speed challenge for me. I originally recorded slower version, but then I wanted to try how fast can I play that. I have uploaded the faster version, because it sounds more interesting that way. I used a score from Suzuki book 5, but RCM grades this piece at grade 7.

05. Accolay – Violin Concerto no.1 in a minor – RCM grade 8

First violin concerto of Jean-Baptiste Accolay is an wonderful work from romantic period. Not much is known about the composer of this piece – there are any records of his life except three violin concertos that he composed. Some people believe that Accolay was an pseudonim of Henri Vieuxtemps – famous violin virtuoso and composer.

Playing this concerto was great fun for me, but recording this piece was really frustrating. This piece is really long and it’s really hard to play for 8 minutes without making any mistakes. It’s not my best outcome, but for the time spend working on it I am glad with the outcome.

06. Kroll – Donkey Doodle – RCM grade 3

Donkey Doodle is a simple piece from a collection of three pieces in first position. I realised that I won’t be able to finish Czardas this month, so I needed to chose something really simple to play instead. It was almost sightreadable for me. I needed to work on the dynamics and strings crossings a bit, but anyway it didn’t take me much time to finish this.

My unfinished special project – Czardas Monti – RCM grade 8

Czardas originally is a Gypsy dance consisting of slow theme followed by fast theme. This most famous czardas wasn’t composed by Gypsy, but Italian composer Vittorio Monti. I think that I got this piece to quite decent level, but I believe that it deserves much more polish, so I decided to record how this piece sounds right now to have a comparison, when I’ll finish working on it. I have recorded it together with Bach double for colab of me and Mariko.

Plans for next month

It’s almost middle of March and I haven’t started to work on my short term pieces yet. Right now for the next week I need to concentrate on my competition pieces – Spring 1st movement by Vivaldi and 1st movement 2nd violin of Bach double concerto. Then I decided that I will finish Komarowski concerto in A major – I will revisit 1st movement (out of challenge) and learn 2nd and 3rd movement. I need to chose one more piece to play this month. I don’t want it to be too difficult, so I’ll wait with decision to the moment, when I will finish the competition.

I have also exciting violin plans. I have started playing my first solo violin piece – Fantasy no. 10 by Telemann. Yesterday I were on a violin hunt, because I am planning to buy a new violin. It’s not only exciting violin news for me. On Monday 19th of March Anne Sophie Mutter is playing Bethoveen Violin Concerto with National Orchestra of Polish Radio in Katowice  and I am going to her concert. I am thinking about vloging about this day, but I’m not sure if I’ll manage.

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Hi! I am late teen beginner. I've started playing violin one month before my 17th birthday. I am playing since September 2014. Before I tried to self-taught guitar for about two years.

5 thoughts on “40 pieces a year challenge – February Summary

  1. I’m so excited for you that you will be buying a new violin!! I hope you will find what your looking for within your budget! Have fun with your violin hunt. :yahoo:

    You have learned a lot in one month! I really loved the Donkey Doodle. I played it too and it was really fun. :-)

    I also liked Czardas, it’s one of the pieces that I would really like to learn some day too!! Seems like I’m into gypsy music at the moment. Just yesterday I discovered this channel from Katica Illenyi who plays lots of music in this style. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLpp6s-VPqKGxr1mEDPV9Bg Maybe you know her already but if not, I’m sure you will like her channel. :-) The double stops half way the piece and the harmonics would make this way too hard for me at this time! I think you did a great job with it already. And it will certainly sound great once you have it polished.

    I’m still impressed you were able to play The Gigue this fast. I will probably learn it next month, after finishing the Rieding Concertino.

    Oh and I totally understand that you had a hard time recording Accolay but you did very well. I believe this is a hard piece to learn in such short time!! I often feel very frustrated when I record, especially for a long piece. I also still get nervous in front of the camera, even after so many recordings. Sometimes I record a piece in 2 parts if there is some measures rest in between. It makes it a bit easier for me to not make too many mistakes. But it’s great indeed if you can do it in 1 take. For the Rieding Concertino I will be doing in 1 take as well because I will be playing with backing track. I really hope I will manage to play it in 3 weeks! :yes:

    It was also great that you added some info/historic background for each piece. :heart:

    Good luck with your next pieces!!

  2. Hi Mariko, I’m adult starter in violin, start in 2014. Reading your blog and see your video inspires me to keep continue on my journey.
    I’m surprised to see your very long hair in videos you put on this post. You look georgeous, and reminds me of Hilary Hahn image a lot.
    I wish you success in your journey. My instagram: @truviolinist

    1. Hi Amaranthine, thanks for your nice comments. This specific post was written by Emma, not by me. I don’t have that long hair ;-) I’m sure Emma will be happy with your comments. :-)
      It’s always nice to get to know an other adult violin learner. What are you working on now?

      1. Hi Mariko,

        Wow I never realise that, I thought you wrote all of posts here…

        Now I’m starting working on bach, and some short pieces for violin&piano (salut damour, etc)…

        1. No problem Amaranthine, I do write most of the posts, but some are written by other violin learners. :-)
          Salut d’Amour is such a beautiful piece! Good luck with it!!

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