After the frustration of Ferrer’s Tangos, the Minutova Sola (Minute solo’s) by Stephan Rak appeared perfect material to get going again. They are small pieces –at times that is awkward for the concentration because before you get the hang of it, the piece is over- but they provide excellent material for playing moods and atmospheres.
I recorded most pieces in one take with the idea “play first and evaluate later”. This set includes ten pieces.
The first piece is Svit Luny (Moonshine). I got a little bit in the Beethoven mood, so my approach is quiet. From the recording, it appeared that some notes must have a little more emphasis.
The second piece Na Shledanou (Goodbye) has a tricky upbeat, three out of four beats. After some playing around the piece appeared to have some Bach-like constructions and I guess I played that sufficiently.
Nocturno requires a calm approach in a quiet evening atmosphere with easy breathing. I have been experimenting a bit with the positions and found a better sound than the original fingering of the piece.
Vzpomínka (Memory) became a little gloomy sounding piece. It did provide for a nice sonorous bass line indeed! The next time I need to make the shifting harmonies in the chords a little bit clearer.
Ukolébavka (Lullaby) is a sleeping song indeed. The bass line provides room for position play on the fourth string. Because I like the atmosphere, I repeat the last section as well.
Nostalgie has something of a pop song from my youth. The melody is mostly in the bass line in the 6/8 meter. At times, it is difficult to keep the rhythm.
Z Dálného Vychodu (from the Far East) does have an eastern atmosphere. That was a consideration for the tempo, I choose the low side. On a few spots, I could have played more ponticello for the effect.
Podvecer (Twilight) is a piece with a typical evening mood. It took me some experimenting with tempo and phrasing. I choose rest an quiet.
Romance has more room for emotion than the previous pieces. Consequently, I came across the tension between spontaneity and control. I could have ventured more in this piece, as I attempted in the last section. Apparently, the fear for slips kept me cautious.
Zlost a Klid (Wrath and Peace) was the trickiest piece of this set concerning atmosphere. How do you play wrath and how do you return to peace? In the wrath section I was afraid to lose control, so it is less sharp and rich in contrast than to should be. The peace was much easier to me!
Recording this set, I learned that I should stress dynamics more. Exercises in playing softly yet clearly!
😊Play one piece at a time!