Music Life - A Little Bit of Cellist Hell with Canon in D, and Some Sleepy Time with a Vivaldi Concerto
Canon in D is scary (and kind of annoying).
No, really. It's true, on the cello side of things.
It's one of the pieces that we love to hate, or hate to love.
Just think about it, throughout the entire piece, about four to five minutes of it, we only play the same eight notes over and over again. And if you playing for a wedding, good luck to repeating the song again＿ﾉ乙(､ﾝ､)＿
Thank you, Johann Pachelbel, for making a famous musical work wherein you torture the cellists(￣Д￣
You gave the other string players interesting parts but made us sweat and grow bored with ours... So sad...
Generally speaking, I like this piece of music, but I don't like playing the cello part, unless it's arranged in a way that gives the cellos more interesting stuff to play.
Nobody knows much about the history behind this music. Some say it was for a wedding, but those are just rumors. And despite of cellists' problems with this particular piece, Pachelbel was quite good with composing (he created hundreds of works).
The reason I ended up writing about Canon in D was due to the fact that our temporary chamber ensemble conductor included the piece in our repertoire, and we practised it during our rehearsal last Sunday.
It wasn't a fun experience at all.
We had to repeat the same song over and over again while the conductor corrected some things in the other string sections. Like a song stuck in repeat, all the same notes over and over again...
Here, I got a video from Youtube that you can enjoy, listening to the same notes over and over again...
I'm wondering what went on in Pachelbel's head during the time he wrote this.
But at least our conductor had some mercy on the cello section, he told our principal cellist to arrange the cello part in a way that wouldn't be too boring for us (sorry Johann, but really, what could you do?).
Each cellist in the section ended up improvising, we played around with different rhythm patterns, created harmonic lines, played the melodic ones, stopped playing (LOL), etc. In short, we kind of fooled around during practice（＞ｙ＜）
(But we're generally the most behaved section in the ensemble and the orchestra, conductors love us(^_−)☆)
Our principal cellist in particular had fun. After about fifteen minutes of playing the same notes again and again, being given leave to improvise unleashed his creative talents. He played in lower octaves, shifted to higher ones, went with syncopated rhythms, played along with the violins, messed around with harmonic lines... Yep, he had fun.
But, of course, we're not going to play like that in the concert XD (Our conductor would kills us if we did that).
Still, after all complains about the boring bass line, us cellists would play the our parts obediently.
But while Pachelbel made an eternally repeating cello part (I'm exaggerating), Vivaldi can make cellists sleep.
I'm not joking.
Vivaldi created really excellent works of music, and the cello parts are usually interesting, but his slow pieces...
I've actually slept through rehearsals playing them. Maybe not slept in the sense that I did it deliberately, but fell asleep because of the really, really slow pace of the music and the cello part being rather dull. (Nothing against Vivaldi, the pieces are great, just sleep-inducing).
The first time I slept was a couple of years ago, when we rehearsed one of Vivaldi's works, In Et Terra Pax. This one's part of a larger work, Gloria, a religious composition, and involves the choir.
Coupled with the fact that practice was at eleven in the morning, just an hour before lunch, three times a week, the heat and hunger can tempt the mind to take a little nap. And me falling asleep happened several times, thankfully our conductor at that time would usually concentrate on the choir. My stand partner would wake me up with a poke of her bow when she saw that I was in dreamland, so I was never caught asleep.
But really, sleeping while playing... It's true though.
Let me put up a video of Et In Terra Pax. Listen to it while imagining a humid atmosphere, the voices of the singers mellow as you play cello part slowly, the bow sliding over the strings, your head nodding along in a kind of trance as little by little it draws you off to close your eyes...
During our last practice, I ran into another sleep-inducing cello part by Vivaldi. This time, it was the second movement of one of his concertos.
And I fell asleep while playing, again. Just a short nap though. And our conductor this time had his attention in on the violins (again). Still wasn't caught.
I didn't do it deliberately though, the music was really just...sleepy? The part was made in the same style as the first one I encountered. Even the other parts were kind of mellow, the harmonies providing
But the rest of the other two movements were cheerful(?) and fun.
For those interested in classical music and would like to connect and share, @bengy started a Discord channel for it.
Check it out on Discord