On Beethoven bowings, hero worship
and the pressures of academic study,
with classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH
I'm in an amateur chamber orchestra that has decided to take on
Beethoven's 7th symphony. Would you have any recommendations for
bowings for the 'dotted 8th / 16th / 8th' rhythm in the first
movement? I'm thinking it'll best to hook together the first two
notes of the group in a down bow, and then an up on the last 8th.
Does this seem sensible to you? The standard of playing is
variable, so I need a secure straightforward bowing.
Most people (including the Royal Philharmonic and the English
Symphony Orch) choose the exact bowing you describe ... I was once
in an authentic instument orchestra that insisted we do as-it-comes
(down, up, down, up, down, up)
and everyone moaned about it ... I
feel sure Beethoven is with you (us) on this; so go for it!!!!!!
I recently read your article regarding John Martin with the NSO. I
have also been fortunate to have met him, only not as a cellist. My
father once rented a room from him when first returning to
Washington DC. I was thrilled beyond belief to meet a man such as
he. I'm classically trained, so I felt as you, hero worship. I live
in Washington DC and happen to be seeing the NSO tomorrow evening. I
wish John was still with them.
Dear fellow hero-worshipper (possibly fellow cellist??)
How good to know that I am not alone!!!!!
Pls write back asap and tell me which you thought the noblest and most expressive:
- John Martin in aristocratic profile
- John Martin's elegant bow-arm
- John Martin towering over the rest of the cello section, as he walked off-stage
- John Martin's little quizzical glance over at Dorothy Stahl, as she turned their page late
I can NEVER decide!!!!!!
I'm a recent college grad who has taken a year off before
attending graduate school. I'm currently in the process of filling
out applications, but for some reason this makes me extremely
nervous. I'm aware of how ridiculously I'm behaving, which is why
I'm forcing myself to sit down and get things done. I have
repeatedly asked myself whether I want to get a Masters or PhD,
and I KNOW I do. But questions keep running through my head saying
that I don't deserve it and that I'm setting myself up for a fall
because I fit the profile of a first-rate loser. In the past I have
turned to self-injury and abstaining from food as a way to punish
myself for a lot of things. I have never tried to kill myself as I
don't want to do that.
Now that I face this fear of applying to graduate school and the
risk of not getting in, I want to start refraining from eating. What can I do?
Thanks for reading
For a start, you do NOT fit the personality of a 'first-rate
loser.' You've been accepted for grad school, and the majority of
even college graduates would not have been! -- You've done incredibly
well, and I bet you've made a lot of people incredibly proud,
already. For some reason, however, this isn't enough for you. You
seem to have really painful self-esteem issues, in common with many
high-achievers -- nothing you do, however well you do it, seems enough.
You're right to worry about your feelings of panic, because you have
(apparently) got a history of mistreating your body. I really do
urge you to get this sorted out with counselling, even if it means
postponing grad school until you're well enough to do it justice. I
don't even know what continent you're on, but I know you've been
honest enough to admit to panic attacks to me, so you really must
speak confidentially to someone who could help you to sort this out:
your mother, your doctor, your minister, someone on the pastoral side
at university, whoever. Please don't be tempted to ignore it, or
else you might just start the cycle of worry and panic and
self-mistreatment again. This would be such a shame, as you've done
so well, and clearly have a lot to give.
The university years are
often stressful and difficult as well as fascinating: you're not
alone in feeling worried, especially assuming you're moving to a
different institution for grad school.
Give yourself a break NOW
and go admit to someone what you're going through (I was worried and
depressed at your age as well!!!!!!)
PS Please write back; then I'll write to you privately if you'd like.
Copyright © 11 November 2005
Alice McVeigh, Kent UK