Bazzini - Dance of the Goblins/Scherzo Fantastique


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As I veer past middle-agedness, I must be going mad...or maybe it's the stay-at-home for 9 months insanity...

I thought to myself, hmmm I should learn some new pieces!  I never learned the Tchaik Cto, so after 5 months, I'm through the cadenza!  Then I thought, hmmm....how about adding a new shorter piece to my repertoire?

Bought the sheet music for Bazzini's Scherzo Fantastique, otherwise commonly known as The Dance of the Goblins, and painfully , but successfully, got through the first page....

I thought that for sure the down-bow and up-bow staccato would be my hang up.  Nope.  The double-stop trills (not technically trills) and the double stop harmonics f'ing killed me.  Anyone here have any fingerings and/or tips on how to handle either technique?

Please...I am not a beginner, so no need to speculate as to whether the piece is too difficult for me.  It is, but not so much because I am not lacking in skill.  Also, I have a thick skin but I would rather read advice and suggestions specific to this piece.  No snarky remarks from the peanut gallery please.

 

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One way to approach the spots that are giving you trouble is to deconstruct the measures. You can mark where each beat falls, then focus on getting the correct double stop for each beat. That gives a framework for the progression. Then you can focus on the trills in between the beats.

The fingerings provided ought to work. I’d add that you can make things a little easier for yourself if you make use of the open D in measure 2 and the rests in other spots to prepare your shifts. It’s much more difficult to make the leaps if you’re trying to do it on or immediately before the beat. Those little breaks offer a lot of help. 

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1 minute ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

One way to approach the spots that are giving you trouble is to deconstruct the measures. You can mark where each beat falls, then focus on getting the correct double stop for each beat. That gives a framework for the progression. Then you can focus on the trills in between the beats.

The fingerings provided ought to work. I’d add that you can make things a little easier for yourself if you make use of the open D in measure 2 and the rests in other spots to prepare your shifts. It’s much more difficult to make the leaps if you’re trying to do it on or immediately before the beat. Those little breaks offer a lot of help. 

Thank you!  What do you make of the harmonic double stops?  I have NEVER seen nor played these! :(

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I can't play them either, but I do know you will need to deconstruct and reconstruct them.  First, play each note in the chord separately, then only play the bottom most notes in sequence, then the middle, then the top harmonics...then slowly start playing them together...the bottom two first...then once you can play those, introduce the harmonics.

There's likely a recommended 'training' pattern to use...or if not, you can put together your own - something along the lines of what I tried to suggest.

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7 hours ago, violinnewb said:

Thank you!  What do you make of the harmonic double stops?  I have NEVER seen nor played these! :(

They do take a lot of practice to develop. Something that helped me was to focus on getting the fully stopped part of each harmonic stopped and to avoid pressing down too much on the upper part. It’s not so hard with single harmonics,  but sometimes wires get crossed when you’re doing double harmonics. It can be helpful to think about the mechanics of the fingers. 
 

The passage you showed is not really as hard as you might think. After the second harmonic, you don’t have to change finger positions—it’s a chromatic progression. The second passage is a bit different but uses the same finger patterns.

As you’re working on harmonics, it can be useful to just play series of harmonics outside the framework of the piece. Don’t worry about speed, just go for clarity. See if you can get them to ring cleanly and clearly, then you can start putting them together. 

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1 hour ago, Stephen Fine said:

What's tripping you up?  What's the principal difficulty?

1.  Dang, it took you three days to chime in.  I was expecting a lot sooner! :lol:

2. I got the double-stop trilly things down pretty good now. So just a matter of consistently getting them in tune and in time.  So on to the next problem area...

3.  I feel stupid for saying this, but I just simply cannot read/figure out/play these double stop harmonics, let alone near tempo.  Simply too much black on the staff and my eyes and brain go numb. 

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1 hour ago, violinnewb said:

1.  Dang, it took you three days to chime in.  I was expecting a lot sooner! :lol:

2. I got the double-stop trilly things down pretty good now. So just a matter of consistently getting them in tune and in time.  So on to the next problem area...

3.  I feel stupid for saying this, but I just simply cannot read/figure out/play these double stop harmonics, let alone near tempo.  Simply too much black on the staff and my eyes and brain go numb. 

1. Hah!  I've never taught this piece. I love it though.

2. Yeah.  Practice rhythms and what I call "burst" practicing, fast tempo with space between the beats to give your brain and hand time to consider what's about to come. And the regular metronome work.

3. Sometimes, new technique just takes a few days to settle in.  Just keep at it and your brain should start to sort it out. I agree with Rue about enlarging, a great teacher once recommended enlarging difficult material to me and I've found it beneficial myself.

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Hey!  Maybe violinnewb would like to put on a Zoom concert for a couple of us! :)

I would love to see a relaxed, informal performance!  We could all wear our pajamas too! :lol:

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/8/2021 at 5:27 PM, Ernee said:

One good use for ForScore-- or, at least iPad pros.

Recently, I finally caved in, joined the 21st century, bought an iPad and started downloading and scanning scores. I also bought a foot pedal to turn pages and the Apple Pencil. Marking parts is a little slow, but ForScore's tool for adding fingerings/bowings/dynamics makes for very clean looking music.

But, for the record, even the largest size iPad Pro is smaller than larger-sized sheet music, let alone an enlargement. I suppose you could turn it sideways and look at a couple of lines at a time.  There's not a substitute yet for a part printed out A3 or 11x17.

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On 1/6/2021 at 10:44 AM, violinnewb said:

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i'm thinking the only way to get the harmonic to sound is to stop the bold notes first and then sound the harmonic an octave up the fingerboard - weather to use the bow or fingers would be the next decision.

i wasn't trained using violin right hand techniques but if this were to be a guitar piece one would fret the bold notes down and simply tap a full octave higher on the same string{s} for the harmonic sound.

when things get tough reading wise elsewhere just do one measure at a time.

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