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About sonnichs

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  1. Thanks Alex - I have tried it in both 1st and 4th positions, bowed as written. If I bow in groups of 4 I can stay closer to the frog and reduce arm motion. I am forgoing tone color with a view to just playing the passage cleanly. Arbos-I have fooled with just "ticking" the lowest note in the crossings much like a stop. Mozart indeed wrote passages that just don't seem to regard the difficulties of string playing. (Maybe he was "tweaking" his father with these passages!) Go Practice - HA HA--our conductor just balled out the firsts for playing too loud last night. I have a few low cost baroque bows and your point on the speed that these can offer is well placed. I have noticed lately some professionals holding their modern bow up higher lately--well above the frog--maybe they have relearned something. I usually play viola on the Brahms quints and definitely alter bowing to meet the dynamics. I don't know if it is my compromised hearing but I always feel as though cellists like to overwhelm us alto clef players. Wow! - Your perceptions on the Setzer and Drucker are very interesting and I wish my listening possessed that level of discernment. I find it delightful that they switch off the 1st role for reasons of comparison as you mentioned. I was privileged to hear them play late Beethoven last year. Dutton always steals the show for me-he looks so happy and delightful when he is playing his viola. Thanks for the further comments on practicing this. I always keep passages like this in mind and pull them up as exercises when I can. This is a good one and will cover a lot of music, esp. Mozart. vvvvDelighted to be playing Mozart. We are working on Dvorak 96 for the spring. Whole different set up problems but I find the Mozart more challenging! Beethoven? The middle and late ones are always psychologically engaging to hear--always something new seems to emerge and there are so many interpretations. They are too much for our group but we have read through the 59s at times. Thanks Bill- more practice hints are valued. I think I have a lot to go on from this post. In the end it is like learning to ride a bicycle-you never remember exactly how you were taught, but ultimately you put together all the hints and at some point it just "clicked". Cheers Fritz
  2. Thank you for your well thought out and extensive analysis. I really appreciated it. You are spot on regarding Mozart's second violin parts and we often joke about it in orchestra. I got nailed with more than a few challenging parts in his symphonies, and thinking back on it, I believe they were these Alberti type passages, usually at around 132MM I certainly can appreciate the role of setting the start tempo mvt4 in K387. The irony is that the first violinist in this quartet is my wife! So careful there. While I have large hands, I also have arthritis so I am still pondering executing the whole passage on the D string. I had been using something like your 2nd option at this point and probably will take that off to the concert (don't tell anybody!). At some point my question is academic--what does the Emerson and other quartets do here? I guess that they just have the talent to play passages like this at speed without much effort. I assume Mozart could do the same. Thank you for the exercises you mention. I have done some of this but you have pointed out some new things. I am always a little torn between wrist vs arm motion in these type passages. I also have tried cutting down the slurs and bowing the notes in groups of 4----grouping all 8 uses a lot more bow and brings one close to the tip, with and attendant great arm motion as you mention. All said I need to work more on these type passages. I play the viola a lot too and they come up a lot in those parts. Cheers and thanks again Fritz
  3. The last movement of the Mozart K387 string quartet is a delight to both play and listen to. I note that most of the major quartets perform at at around MM144. Our (amateur) group is taking it a little over MM120. I am on 2nd violin. All goes well until that Alberti passage in the 2nd half of the movement, duplicated here. I can usually handle the first such passage in the first half, but the second one is diabolical. Anyone want to tell me how they finger it at these speeds? There does not seem to be a lot of options-- I've tried it in 3rd position but that is one heck of a stretch. Cheers Fritz
  4. Sorry-I meant to spell that 'Henle"---either a "spell checker" error or too many beers last night--take your pick! For the record I see it by Henle as HL.51480139. Now regarding your spelling ......... thanks Fritz
  5. I would like to buy a copy of the Beethoven Sting quartet H34 (his transcription in 1801 of his Op.14-1 piano sonata). Rather nice quartet seldom heard. I see that Helene has it if you buy the whole opus 18 with it. Already have that and would prefer to just pay for the H34 only. Anyone know a source other than Henele? thanks Fritz
  6. Anyone know a source of the piano and viola, separate parts, for the 3 sonatas for viola by Julius Rontgen? They are a delight to listen to. (An ugly copy of the Cm piano part exists on IMSLP and the usual vendors don't seem to sell it.) Thanks, Fritz
  7. We preformed this over the weekend and I am back online --wanted to say thanks again for the additional posts. More great information here than I could have asked for. I wish this type of discussion was more often presented in practice books which are too often devoid of any text. For the performance I used 2nd position and per Andrew's comment I started on a down bow--much easier. I still want to look at reversing bows later. I indeed generally use some of the practice methods that Bill and Doug recommended. Will and Dr. S make and interesting point that I never thought of--there are few reference bearings into 2nd position. Sometimes our subconscious tells us things that we don't understand if we don't analyze (I have been accused of over-analyzing violin issues but then I work in physics and it is my natural flaw). Fingering is always problematic for me--at the usual slow startup practice speed a lot works-- and then when the conductor slams down his baton at 144MM you are out of luck--you learned a less than adequate fingering and it is "burned in". That is why I have come here often for advice on violin and viola fingerings and really appreciate this forum. Per Bill- these broken arpeggios are indeed one of Mozarts favorite tricks in warding off players like me. (I can just hear his ridiculous laugh about this as presented in "Amadeus") I long while back I asked this form about his KV301 ( See "Fingering for Mozart Sonata - KV301" This apparently "easy" little sonata is a devil due to the almost ornamental broken arpeggios. SO-I have one more go at performing this in May-- Thanks again all! Fritz (not Kreisler!)
  8. Back at it again. Thanks for all the comments--everyone had good points. I will put Will's comment above all regarding how it might be played in Mozart's day. Reading Leopold's book gives us insights and I have oft read that in the days before the chinrest a profusion of shifting was avoided. You all emphasized the difficulty presented of hitting the A string at just the right time and I guess that is indeed the crux of the matter for me. Playing with increasing MM rates when it just begins to get ragged for me (around 130) i often don't hear the A string ring before the first finger comes down on it. Playing with accents off the beats has helped. At any rate this is a very exposed and charming passage that rotates around the quartet and there are few places for refuge. Will's last comment is well stated. We all are told "to practice slowly at first" ad nauseum but the thing teachers never tell you is that hands can act like machines and they react differently at different speeds. How many times have I showed up at the first orchestra rehearsal well prepared to find out that the conductor is going to take off at 144MM. Especially for an amateur (moi) it would be really good to start with a "safe and acceptable" fingering to begin with and not learn it with something that generally falls apart once concert tempo is reached. Unlearning is a lot more difficult than learning for me. The other thing I learned early on is the "audience factor". At least for me I perform at about 80% with a room full of faces staring at me. I generally like to learn a passage about 10MM faster than needed to hedge my bet. Thanks for all the great feedback. Fritz
  9. Measure 35 of the Mozart K465 string quartet has been giving me some trouble. (see attached) If you look at the broken thirds there if I play them "normally" in 1st position, I have a struggle with the transfer from the D to the A string. This is being played at 132MM. (At slower speeds less than 120MM anything works for me) To be fair age has made pulling my 1st finger back in such passages difficult and surely contributes but the passage always comes out rough or with a missed B note. I show two other fingerings which could work. The 2nd one has some "fluence" problems moving to the open A. Surprisingly for me the last seems to work best, when playing this passage a tempo. I would be curious to hear from others and which fingering they might select, with, important, a tempo around 132MM. (We usually play it a peg slower but I like to "over engineer" final practice speeds as a safety measure). I show a second example from this work, moved to the G string in the development section. cheers Fritz
  10. For the violin, we did a trial run (Shar) of all three coda bows (SX,NX, GX) and found them to be quite different. I originally thought that the only difference was in the fittings but now feel as though there is more to it. We held on to the Diamond GX and did an additional trial run against it of 4 wooden bows in the same price range. Our feeling (among 2 well trained violinists and myself) was that the GX lended much better articulation and clarity to playing fast passages such as in Corelli. It "gripped the string" and kept the notes well separated playing past 132MM on 16th note passages where the others did not. Tonally it was very subjective of course. My humble opinion - It equaled the wooden bows on slow passages with 2 of the 3 violins we were using. Didn't compete with a $5K bow we have but was much easier to draw tone. Final word-I bought the Coda GX as my main bow and my wife as a backup. We are very pleased with them. They are durable and I would expect that since they are "quantified" in the market they would hold good resale value if you upgrade later. I think the have a guarantee as well. In the viola world it was a bit different. I tried the GX and NX vs some equal cost wooden bows and selected the Becker and Jeandel against it. cheers fritz
  11. OK and thanks. Worked it over last night - The 2nd position as mentioned works. I find that executing the last cluster of 16ths in 3rd is smoother also. cheers Fritz
  12. I am struggling with the last movement of the Mozart Horn Quintet. The viola I part has one of those annoying "Mozartisms" that never seems to fit any fingering known to me. I would be curious how others might approach it. The movement is generally performed at a fast clip--around MM120. First position always stumbles for me in the last measure due to the A-flat. I've tried a few other positions but before a practice it to death with a bad choice I would like to hear form others. Any advice appreciated thanks Fritz
  13. Dr. S--- the late quartet is indeed on Netflix now, both DVD and streaming. fritz
  14. As Kate mentions baroque lengths and weights are quite random. I have mentioned the Chinese ebay bows tend to be longer and heavier than what one might expect. The typical stock ones are 70cm long and run 52-60g. You usually have to email the vendor to assure this information. The ones that I have custom made run 65cm at 48g (they charge the same price for these). The only book I know of that deliberates on this is Lindeman. Apparently baroque bows were made of quite a variety of woods (and densities). He states that short 50cm "dance" bows were 35-45 g, and sonata bows were 72cm long and 50-58 g. This later bow is much like those on ebay. Here is an interesting reference that should give some ideas: (that black Stadler bow is one mean looking bow!) If you are just buying a bow "for fun" as you mention you could probably get started with a stock bow that is in the lower weight range. I am sure you already know that playing a baroque violin in the style of that time is a whole different world so testing bows can be difficult unless you are experienced or bring along in instructor. I have a few baroque trained friends that have evaluated the bows I have purchased. Good luck and hope this helps cheers Fritz
  15. Mark, I agree with Franciscus on this. A lot of bows are resold from Chinese vendors and you can do as well to go directly to ebay to buy one of these. I have bought several over the years and have no complaints. I have given some of them to professional orchestra and solo violinists and violists and they are delighted with them. One publically performed a Bach sonata with a bow that I gave her and it sounded great. Keep in mind that you probably won't be playing a lot of spiccato or ricochet bowing etc in baroque playing and while having the best bow possible is always nice you can get a good start with an ebay bow for under $100. When you are ready to perform Biber of course- you may want to upgrade You may find after a short time that you would like to have the bow rehaired. Keep in mind that the typical baroque bow has a thinner ribbon of hair and if it isn't of good quality it may "slip" a bit more. Also having good gut strings is an asset. The one issue I take with the baroque bows coming from China are that they all use the "Corelli" type model or similar-that is-they are quite long--usually within about 1" of the modern length. This is fine for baroque technique since they are lighter than the modern bows. However I play harpsichord at times for a baroque conductor/violist and he has shorter "german dance" style bows with which he likes to play Bach. Since he is well adept at this technique he uses the short bow to advantage to play clipped, quick passages in the gigues. I have since had some shorter bows made for my violin and viola using Chinese ebay vendors, who, by the way, were delightful to work with and eager to accommodate my needs. So-my final feelings on this are go ahead and buy a bow from ebay for under $100, If you hate it it makes a nice decoration. If you like it rehair it at some point cheers Fritz