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About Thorkil

  • Birthday 05/11/1965

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  1. My new string quartett is finished! It is a full length work in 4 movements, quite classical in its structure. A first movement that develops in a struggle between a joyfull maintheme, and a rather heavy, yet very simple counterpoint. Climax is around the golden cut, and it ends in broad chords, that creates a temporary ease from all the work going on in the early parts of the movement. 2. movement is a siciliano, also with two contrasting ideas, only they do not interfere as much with each other. Instead they alternate, creating a rising freedom in a dialogue between fear and sorrow, ending in a reassuring cantabile that sheds all the shadows from previous material. 3. movement is a scherzolike fugue in 5/8. The middle part sounds like some weird balkan samba missing a beat... This movement is a joke, but a difficult one to play. 4. movement is my old Bear, which received it's first performance in Kirkenes, Norway, in 2002. It features among other things a grand solo for the cello, and a strange meter - 13/8. All four movements have a peculiar feature: They quote the gregorian Dies Irae-sequence in various places. Perhaps most notably in the 4. movement, where the cello end it's big solo in a solemn statement of the whole theme, in a slightly off rythm version, and in the 1. movement where the first phrase of the theme becomes a part of the big climax, blasted out in fierce octaves in 1. violin and viola on top of a torrent of 16-notes in the 2.violin and cello. The overall style could be called neo-romanticism, but with an emphasis on rythm and structure. A mix of Bartok and Sibelius, with the latters tendencies towards minimalism, and the firsts sense of rythm. Harmonics are not too adventurous, some use of the wholetonescale, and some deliberate dissonantic writing, but the tonal nature of the themes lends the work a certain cantabile melodic quality. Apart from the second movement, all themes are taken from the sami musical tradition called yoik. Overall length of the work is about 28 minutes. Anyone out who are on the lookout for new repertory? PDF-sheets for a first recording!
  2. Some of you read my post as if I state an antagonistic relationship between scolastics and musicianship. I describe a situation where the two approaches are battling each other because the greater goal has vanished out of sight. Both scolastics and feelings should not be regarded as more than tools. The goal is making music, not to advocate idealism or other approaches. Thus you could say, that the experience that sparked this post was an experience where I felt scolastics dominated and free musicmaking wasn't allowed. A very unhealthy unbalance.
  3. To all of you, thank you for your thoughts. The way I use the word scolastic stems from a conflict I seem to be dealing with: Playing with faith or by heart, versus playing by rules. Open your wings and fly, or submit to the fear of doing something wrong. Listening as a composer (not the composer): It's a statement about fundamentally different ways of listening. Actually, what came first was a rather awkward chambermusic-experience, and my text is an attempt at grasping the core of the awkwardness. It is good to know, history, personals, styles - but just think to play the quintett by Schubert because it is said by somebody to be great, but missing the greatness because you are to occupied with scolastics. We don't play music, because we want to repeat what Melos did on record 40 years ago. We play music because it is important to perform a diminuendo, a tempochange, a good transition.
  4. Scolastics is a kind of monstrous ghost in my world, a hate-object. Both as a teacher and as a musician I'm opposing any attempt to look at music through scolastic eyes. My approach is the composers, listening to the product, recognising structures, above all form, and energy. I do not listen to music as a performer, I never see myself as the one playing. I'm not the servant of the music, I'm a user. It would be to go too far to say it's a compulsitory listening mode, and yet it may explain why I detest scolastics the way I do. Tradition put on a piedestall kills my creativity. Listening as a serving musician would mean giving in to dead idealism, being a composer is the ultimate defence. This outburst is about giving tradition, common idealism, the place it deserves, and not be a slave of it. The understanding of tradition, genre, form, style, scorereading, or the use of reference recordings - all this is tools that may help to achieve a musical result. Most of the time, however, a lot of playing and a good ear, attentiveness when it comes to the inner logic of the music, can do the trick. It is not interesting to reproduce anything if you don't feel for it. We do not have the phenomenon music, or even the more narrow concept "classical music" just because there is truth in repetition, but because it is meaningfull do do a diminuendo, produce a subtle and beautifull sound, or perform a tempo change. In this context, scolastics are like crutches, tools to help those walk that cannot run. Anybody out there with a comment on this? By the way, I'm an old Maestronetuser, returning to the board after a 3-year pause. Happy to be back.
  5. When holding your violin make sure your body is in balance. I had two lessons with a guestteacher - she litteraly changed my life. T.
  6. Does anyone know these, or have anybody used them? On my copy of it, Hans Sitt "50 tägliche übungen", it says that he also has made adaptions of all beethovens symhonies for violin and piano T.
  7. Another one: How many violinists does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: 10 - one for the job and the rest for telling how much better they could have done it. Seriously: In my local community several people have strange ideas about levels of ambition amongst violinplayers. I try to argue that the striving for a fine tone is not the same as being overambitious or feeling haughty. Its simply a matter of doing things properly and finding meaning in what you do. I remember an official dinner last year where I let go a remark on a local choir and their ability to sing "in" tune . Suddenly I was drawn into a wholeevening discussion on the meningfulness of being able to produce good sound in rythm. Strange subject. T.
  8. This is about the expectations that The Violin is connected with. I don't think that any of us never considered the question of becoming or not becoming a virtuoso. Surely the same topic is relevant to all instruments, but I still feel the violin sticks out here. It sort of triggers peoples mind about virtuosity, devils bargain and so on... This faustian side of the instrument can be very devastating. It may remove your focus from the love of musicmaking to the wish to achieve, or stop you from ever trying to learn the violin. Kids at 11 wonder if they are to late, adults at 22 ask naturally the same. Maybe violinists who started at 7 feel unsuccesfull in periods for not having become vituosos? (I, luckily, started at 14 ). The question is: How do you cope? Or is the subject not relevant? T.
  9. I have the Bach concertos with Mutter/Accardo. Horrible, constant vibrato all over the place. The finest controlled vibrato I know of amongst my own records are the Franck-sonata with Kyung Wha Chung and Radu Lupu. She plays with a sense of detail unsurpassed by any. I've been experimenting with different types of vibrato in quartett playing. The response here is extremely immidiate. The coolnes of no vibrato can be combined with greater projection using a very slight vibrato (that is, small vibrato). I know play with rather less vibrato than earlier - I like the sound of a plain tone. But then again this depends much upon my instrument. It has warmth, but purhaps lacks something in clarity. T.
  10. You are not too old. I'm 37 and studying second year at the conservatory. Your hand should not be any problem either. As to the other questions it's mostly a question of prioritizing. I know several doctors and architects, and even a nuclear physicist, who plays on a professional level, but only for the joy of it. I guess they started early. Be aware that you find a good teacher. Don't think of the costs, but pick the right one for you. T.
  11. I have a facsimile of the 1980 edition. It is a very encompassing work but there are some peculiarities. Handels is an english composer? Messiaen gets 2 pages, and Elgar 10? Anyway, I always end up reading much more than necessary. I have an older dictionary wich gives other kinds of information - for instanse about one composer that he was a very good principal speaker . It sort of complement Groves in its trying to be objective . T.
  12. Larsen rosin on Pirastro oliv. By the way, in my language rosin is something you eat - raisins. Never tried that on the bow, though... T.
  13. I think I might have an idea , after reading it closely. But I did not intend to be funny. T.
  14. I've talking to my students about arranging a special seminar on rehearsing - why, where, and when do we do it. Several showed interest in the matter, perhaps because of me emphasising the importance of rehearsing. I plan to involve the parents in this as many of my students are very young. I need a trick to show everybody the meaningfullness of rehearsing in an obvious manner, like a thing you can't do, then we make some simple but yet efficient exercises, and in the end of the course everybody can do it. Any suggestions? Thorkil
  15. Hello Omo Where in Russia is this? If she is in Russia know she should be able to buy, say, good austrian bows at ten percent of the costs outside russia, and also violins. She probably will have to pay for an entire new fitting of the gear outside Russia, but the basic quality will be very ok. I guess she will be needing contacts, though... T.
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