Continuing to Find New Music 3/31

Steven Z -

After the first two weeks or so, I’ve developed a nice base of repertoire that I can always pull out at a moment’s notice. These consisted of classic Suzuki beginner’s pieces, delicious short encores, and some of the more calming pieces from my college audition repertoire.

I wanted to find more variety, and be able to play for longer periods at a time without stopping, so that the audience isn’t forced to clap at an uncomfortable juncture. I pulled out some of my old etude books by Wohlfahrt, Kayser, Rode, and Kreutzer, as well as some random “Études Mélodiques” by Dancla. Some of these etudes are easy enough to plow through one after another, which helps to fill the time when I’ve run out of fresh things to play. Playing etudes also gave me a chance to work on some fundamental techniques, like intonation, shifting, vibrato, etc., while I was performing, which made my time more rewarding.

I also played some audience requests like Mozart’s Eine Kleine, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Strauss’s Blue Danube, as well as certain pop songs. While scrolling through YouTube the other day, I found a playlist of “Relaxing Cello Music,” in which I discovered some compositions by Joe Hisaishi that were used in Studio Ghibli films such as “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” I managed to find sheet music for some of them, and Hisaishi’s movie music adds a nice down-to-earth feeling in contrast to the somber Bach or operatic Mozart.

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