This is a follow up to several non-related posts.
My endurance had gotten somewhat worse over the summer, especially after my attendance at the Barry Tuckwell Institute (BTI). In May I posted that I was experimenting with playing for an hour in the morning and then another hour in the afternoon without taking 20 minute breaks during each hour. I was also hoping to add some more practice time pushing the 2 hours slowly towards 3 hours.
This really didn’t work. On top of that, it has taken me quite a while to fully recover from the huge amount of playing I did at BTI. About three weeks ago I went back to my schedule of playing for 20 minutes followed by a 20 minute rest with a minimum 3 hour break between morning and afternoon practice sessions. This has helped a lot and I think I have finally gotten back to where I was before BTI. Now I am going to try to add some time very slowly.
I have been playing the Dieter Otto horn I have on loan for the past ten days and I like it a lot. I think I have been playing better in general and I am definitely playing with better intonation. In fact, I have recently learned what some of the differences are between a kruspe wrap (the Hoyer) and a geyer wrap horn (the Otto) and my experience with these two horns are consistent with this. For example, I can gliss much better on the Hoyer but staccato is better on the Otto. The register below middle C is much better on the Hoyer but I can hit the high Bb and C on the Otto consistently and almost never on the Hoyer. I can play, occasionally, really ‘well’ on the Otto and sometimes I will play passages that surprise me with how much better I play them. In addition, I think that playing the Otto instead of the Hoyer is also contributing to my improved endurance since I was constantly trying to lip notes into tune. I am leaning toward cutting my losses and going with another horn, possibly this Otto.
In my post about pain I commented about some stomach pain right under my sternum that I have been plagued with for the past several months. I have endured numerous medical tests including having to eat radioactive oatmeal where, I kid you not, I was told not to get too close to people for 24 hours (what about me?). The tests have all come back negative which is a good thing except that I don’t know why I have this pain. Fortunately it seems to be abating and my doc said it was definitely not horn related. Phew.
In my post about age I mentioned that I had developed an annoying vibrato that I attributed to the medication I was taking for the stomach pain. Since the pain was going away I did stop taking this medication a few days ago and the vibrato is gone. What a relief. That vibrato was really awful.