'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Thursday, May 17, 2007

From Learning New Pieces to Julian Lloyd Webber and Elgar

As Robin is home for a few weeks, it is a chance to try out new pieces and revisit old ones, to keep up with the eternally evolving programme.
Robin was waiting patiently for the postman to deliver a package containing two pieces he wanted to look at.
Mid morning they arrived and he has shut himself away in the music room.
At this stage it's hard to identify exactly what they are.
There's a reason for this. Read this quote:

'I always practice the technically difficult passages first - separately and slowly - so that I learn to control and phrase them. One must resist the temptation to try out the right tempo until one has perfect control at the slower tempo. I never play such passages mechanically with the intention of adding the phrasing later. A technically difficult passage needs to be played more slowly until you learn to control it - but with the right musical expression. To separate the technical from the expressive side in music is like separating the body from the soul.'

Daniel Barenboim

Robin used this quote in his book, 'The Guitar Gymnasium', when discussing his approach to new pieces, and his own interpretation is:

'We are all impatient to play the piece up to tempo, or beyond, but, unless the firm technical and musical foundation has been laid, we will not gain mastery over the music.'

Robin Hill

So, for now, I'll have to listen to a phrase endlessly repeated, until I can identify the piece. I'll keep you posted...

Meanwhile in the newspaper, two interesting articles.
The first, by Ivan Hewett, 'Time for a ceasefire in the classical 'class' war', which has some great points, and, for Elgar week, Julian Lloyd Webber explains how Elgar's Cello Concerto had an inspirational role in his career.
Happy reading.

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