Report Schon Rosmarin - proper spiccato accent in The Fingerboard Posted November 30, 2011 Measures 4, 5, 6 (complete measures)? You bring up a very fine point. Find a comfortable chair and grab something to drink. Join the club. Practiced it; don't have the nerve to perform it. Note: to really simplify harmonic analysis skills, especially for these types of show pieces, look to see what notes the piano is NOT playing and those are usually the choice melodic notes that the composer has willed the soloist (or melody). Of course this is a gross over-simplification, but for the amount of time we put in playing these pieces, it's worth examining. For example, in complete measure 4, the f, f#, and b are a nice way to start the second part of the phrase. Also a great rationale for any violist overplaying chamber music with others stomping all over your beautifully colorfully notes - it's a pretty safe bet the others can't read the clef. I have no answers, but philosophically, played (or practiced) solo, the up-bows are more naturally accented in my own playing because this opus is built on the articulation of these spicattos and I am not a sophisticated enough player to make the adjustment of smoothing out the contour of the rise and fall of the phrase (the lowest being the a - for the minor quality - and the highest being a b which gives us the bright 3rd of the most fairest sounding of keys, the great G major, though Schubert might argue this). With a pianist playing a piano, if both are metronomically accurate (sorta boring) the notes "on the beat" may be a bit (or greatly) masked by a pianist's right-hand touch. One would probably have to bring out these note to overcome the volume of the piano, if the violinist's notes were played precisely on top of those chords. So then what type of accent do we choose? Dynamic? Tonal? Pitch? None of the above works, sometimes. We tend to practice these passages rhythmically square, but our heart tells us that the musical phrase is a bit drunk with the affections of Herr Doktor and his whims. Perhaps the theosophical point is that the rhythm is one that is allowed to ebb and flow, racing downward and slowing at the peaks while the most courteous accompanist paves a most stable road. Sorta a stylistically baroque issue, as to the color of the bowstroke. Which brings us back to the original question... My sincere opinion is that besides a little bit of that push on the down bows (if desired, up bow if not) to overcome the pianist' right hand, the contour of the phrase is likely the more musical issue. At the micro-level, the distinctions between the ups-downs are less crucial than playing thorough the arc of the 2nd phrase. If I had the technical control, the choice would be to play each note like the next, but would rather change the tonal color gradually through the crescendo possibly with a slight drift over the established pulse. It's the audible burn and warmth, like that of spices or alcohol in food. The change in articulation during the crescendo will help exaggerate the contrast of "the most elegant" un-accented down bow slur of measure 7 (on the down beat no less, in G major) followed by the horrific recycling of hair at the frog "because I've run out of bow trying to play 10 successive up-bows," creating a bloodbath of inept barking instead of simply re-state the primary melodic theme. Our most affectionate and snickering composer slams the door on us mortals, by leaving out the pianist (also snickering) at this crucial point, exposing the audience to a tired violinist plucking out a charming melody with the ferrule. In discussions with personal friends, we mostly agree that this work is not so much about the notes we play, but the managing of the silences between the notes. Other pieces are so much more about the shaping of the legato phrase and connecting notes with dripping vibrato and less-subtle, throbbing, but sexy bow changes. The one capable of negotiating (and controlling) the sonic range of white heat to audible darkness and everything else in between is the technically great musician. In the meantime, I enjoy practicing this piece because it sounds nice. - - - - - - - - This work and the last fiery movement of the very popular Mendelssohn violin concerto, are examples of pieces that truly benefit from trying different bows or violins. These are pieces that force players either to improve by locating brilliance within an instrument, or to find new girlfriends/boyfriends or wives/husbands (or pets). Empirical evidence suggests that a new bow is generally the cheaper option.