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Autumn from the Four Seasons


Hilary
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Is Quarter note=126 too fast/slow for Mvt I? Her conductor likes it at the speed, but my daughter is skeptical. She doesn't mind it, but she wants to play it at a "normal" pace. She says her playing gets sloppy because she's rushing to keep up witht eh metronome in class. I'm not a fan of Vivaldi, and am not too familiar with the piece, so I don't know if 126 is normal. What's the normal speed range for this piece? Is 126 good?

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If that is what the conductor wants, it doesn't really matter if that is normal. Your daughter needs to work to go with it. She should practice at home cleanly at a metronome pace she can handle, doing the rhythm thing, long short, short long, and then gradually up the pace until she is comfortable and can play cleanly even a bit faster then when she is going along at 126 she will be comfortable.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
outside

If that is what the conductor wants, it doesn't really matter if that is normal.

The tempo should be set by the soloist -- or at least the soloist and conductor working together. Has she explained her concerns to the conductor?

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In my opinion, 126 is on the fast side. It certainly works well at a little more deliberate tempo. I play it several clicks below 120 - I think it works better musically. From my experience in playing it, hearing it played, and listening to recordings, this is the hardest movement to pulloff, mainly because of the double stops and no really good way to finger it. There is plenty of stuff that flies even at a considerably slower tempo. If she can manage 126, then I suggest she pulls back a couple of notches to give her a comfort cushion, plus, the adrenaline rush will tend to speed things up a bit. I needs to feel and sound comfortable, not hectic or strained.

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126 would be faster than I would play it, but I've heard several recordings that take it at that tempo. But that's almost irrelevant. Your daughter should play it at a tempo she'scomfortable with -- if it sounds frenetic because she's not comfortable with the faster tempo, it will ruin the performance. A low-risk way of listening to recordings of it to get an idea of standard tempos would be to go to Amazon.com and check some of them out (they usually have sample tracks you can listen to). Unless she's about to launch a major career, no one will hold it against her for taking a slower than standard tempo. The other thing is, (and I may be wrong here), the metronome hadn't been invented in Vivaldi's time, so I can't imagine that anyone really knows what the "right" tempo is for his music. It's all a matter of opinion, however strongly felt.

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Oh sorry! I had read playing it with the orchestra as in part of the orchestra not as the soloist. If she is the soloist then I retract my previous comment and agree with Erika, DA, and Dr S. If on the other hand she is not the soloist but simply wants to slow down the whole orchestra because she feels rushed then I agree with myself, she should work to play faster cleanly.

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