Wednesday, July 11, 2012

bassoon camp and my favorite pieces.

This summer, I have been focusing almost completely on music.
Mainly with the bassoon. (Which I fondly named Maximilian, Max for short)

I started off going to a Bassoon Workshop for two weeks.
I don't think I've every experienced anything like it.
There were other workshops for other instruments going on at the same time as well, so there was also a Trombone Workshop, Flute Workshop etc. 
The program is advertised as "classical music immersion" and they mean it.

On the weekdays, there are classes, from 9am-12pm and then 2pm-4pm. Any time in between that, we were essentially allowed to do anything that we wanted.
Most of us spent that time practicing in the cute little practice huts that were scattered around campus.

The people there were amazing.
At school, it's hard to find people who enjoy classical music and play an instrument with the goal of making it part of their life.
At camp, almost everyone wanted to either major or minor in music.
It was really, really, really nice.

I was definitely one of the worst people there, but that's alright because I don't have that much experience.
Although the teachers were still strict regardless, I learned enough at that camp to make up for a damaged ego.
I also improved a lot, mainly because I became a practicing machine. (2.5 hours a day!) 

Those of you who don't play an instrument probably don't understand why on earth I would willingly go to a camp that's essentially music boot camp.
But the thing is, music makes me happy.
It just does.
I often find myself listening to a piece, and I'll start to smile. Just because.

And I saw a faculty tuba recital there.
The finale was a tuba quartet.
Amazing? I think yes.

And finally, here are a few of my favorite pieces.
Libraries also often have full scores, so if you can read music, I would recommend looking along as you listen, so you can see just how the magic happens.
  • Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5 Second Movement (Allegro Marcato), Especially love the brass part at 5:39-6:56. Amazing.
  • Gershwin - An American in Paris, This is piece is about, well, an American in Paris. You can almost see him meandering around France. There are car horns (The trumpets going DA-DA-DA in the beginning) and during the slow section in the middle, I visualize him sitting in a swanky cafe watching the sunset.
  • Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 Fourth Movement (Allegro), As far as I'm concerned, this movement is like a giant dance party.
  • Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra Second Movement (Giuoco Delle Coppie), I love this movement. It's lots of fun, and it's meant to be sassy and playful. It also starts off with a bassoon duet, and then later, a bassoon trio, which makes me a bit biased. 
  • Saint-Saens - Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila, This is one of those pieces that makes you want to get up and dance. The Youtube recording skips the gorgeous oboe solo in the beginning, but it the full thing can easily be found on Spotify.
  • And if you're up to some bassoon concerto awesomeness, the Mozart and Weber bassoon concertos are stunning.
If you have pieces that you like, write a comment or email me, and I will definitely take a look.