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Hi/ Suggestions for Kreisler's "Praeludium & Allegro"


Spektr
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Just wanted to say hi to all. I've been reading this board for a couple of days now and seems like a great place.

I studied violin for ten years before I took a three-year hiatus for college. To make a long story short, I've restarted playing/ taking lessons and have a much better appreciation of the violin as well of how cold and unforgiving musical instruments can be smile.gif

After six months of lessons, my teacher started me on Kreisler's "Praeludium & Allegro." Progress has been slow but steady, but the chords at the last phrase of the "Allegro" has me frustrated-- I can't seem to play the chords without screechies.

Thanks for reading and ANY advice/suggestions will be very appreciated.

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Awesome!! Good for you.

I'm playing that piece right now as well. I think that the goal of the stroke for those chords is to try and play all 3 simultaneously- one way you can help doing so is by 1) moving your bow a little bit further away from the bridge, but not totally over the fingerboard...the strings are actually closer together here and 2) a much faster bowspeed!! (which in essence will force you to use much more bow). Once you've done these things, try and aim for the string that's in the middle of the chord and simply apply pressure/speed so that hair is touching all 3 strings at the same time...if you still can't get it, try moving even farther away from the bridge.

I hope this helps, and let us know if it doesn't.

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I performed that piece pretty recently, and I have two words for that passage of terror: lighten up.

Honestly, the best thing that you can do is to release the pressure that you're putting on those strings. Use a quick, but long stroke for each cord, and don't press down to hard! Also, do NOT speed up!!! There's a common tendancy to speed up there, and that's not a good spot to change tempo.

So think light when you're playing it, and make sure to keep a watchful eye on your contact point (as others have mentioned before me).

--Ms. Mazas

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Kreisler never recorded this piece.

But I'd still suggest listening to whatever he did. This is because he composed this piece to highlight his own strengths and weaknesses.

The thing about Kreisler is that he had a tendency to play very fast but with a perceptible pulse. When I play this piece myself (see my soundclip on dzerzy's site), I try to have some of that same Kreisleresque frenetic quality.

When hammering out those chords at the end, use the fingers of the right hand to soften the bow strokes. At least that's what Aaron Rosand told me to do.

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Kreisler never recorded this piece.

But I'd still suggest listening to whatever he did. This is because he composed this piece to highlight his own strengths and weaknesses.

The thing about Kreisler is that he had a tendency to play very fast but with a perceptible pulse. When I play this piece myself (see my soundclip on dzerzy's site), I try to have some of that same Kreisleresque frenetic quality.

When hammering out those chords at the end, use the fingers of the right hand to soften the bow strokes. At least that's what Aaron Rosand told me to do.

I didn't know Kreisler had a tendency to play very fast. Can you give some examples?

Stewart

p.s. BTW, how do you think Kreisler would play the Prelude? I've never heard a Prelude that I like.

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Kreisler would probably slide quite a bit in the Preludium. And he'd sound like a million bucks. No, 2 million. At least. wink.gif

Yfrah Neaman suggests starting chords with a lighter and slower bow, then moving the bow quickly once the note is started (without a scratch), as oppposed to starting with a heavier bow right away.

You could aslo try starting a note at the frog with no consonant-like attack whatsoever. I don't know if it's possible to do it with absolutely no attack, but it's worth trying for the bow control benefits.

Sustained tones helped me learn how and how much to lighten up on the bow in general. If you can play a note very softly for 30 seconds in one bow without scratching (no bumps, surges, or swells either), you can play lots of stuff without scratching. I've gotten to about 40 seconds with a few surges but 99.9% scratch free, and it's like I've forgotten how to scratch unwillingly.

I've suggested that a million times to a million people for a million reasons, and I've gotten little or no feedback (sometimes people mention their benefits, and I feel like less of a loony). Please consider practicing them for a few minutes a day, making your goal in each practice session to eliminate all irregularities in the tone and/or add 5 seconds to your time. Five bucks says you'll notice improvements within a week of successfully practicing them like that daily.

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quote:

Originally posted by vieuxtemps:

I've suggested that a million times to a million people for a million reasons, and I've gotten little or no feedback (sometimes people mention their benefits, and I feel like less of a loony). Please consider practicing them for a few minutes a day, making your goal in each practice session to eliminate all irregularities in the tone and/or add 5 seconds to your time. Five bucks says you'll notice improvements within a week of successfully practicing them like that daily.

Well, I'll give you some feedback- that's an important skill and practicing it has certainly helped me a lot. I'm surprised that anybody would express scepticism about the importantace of practicing slow sustained bows.

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quote:

Originally posted by vieuxtemps:

One last thing: all that crap I said works best if your right arm is relaxed and free of unnecessary tension, from your shoulder to your fingertips. Your bow hold should be relaxed, natural, and flexible.

Vieuxtemps

Your points make eminent sense, and this technique has been used for centuries.

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Kreisler played fast in:

Tambourin Chinois

Caprice Viennois

Tartini's Corelli Variations

and a whole lot of other pieces.

For sheer finger and bow speed, Kreisler was unrivalled. His virility and intensity of sound was due to his naturally fast reflexes, which was clearly inborn and not taught.

Kreisler was also not afraid to push his tempi. He never played fast for the sake of playing fast, but his innate pulse clearly flew along at a faster rate than that of most violinists. In fact, Kreisler has a tendency to play slightly ahead of the beat in some of his own compositions (but not in standard repertoire).

When playing this piece (or any piece), I hold the bow firmly but not stiffly. If I don't, I'll lose the bow and thus the phrasing.

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HKV,

I just went back to listen to my Kreisler recordings. Yes, I agree with your analysis that he has a pushing innate pulse and fast tempo at a few spots. I also perfectly agree that he has a tendency to play slightly ahead of the beat in some of his own compositions. But the overall feeling he gives me is a lively, very "human" presentation rather than a fast one, which is why I never noticed that he played fast. I am not criticizing you or anything but this is clearly different from your dazzling, demonic approaches (fortunately you don't scratch like the "modern" violinists or whatever that means). I can see where you are coming from, but you sound fast to my ear and Kreisler does not. (I'm not saying your Allegro is not good - in fact if I haven't said it, it's great. I'm just pointing out my observation)

Stewart

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I was also trying out this piece for the first time recently.

The chords certainly have to be played with flexibility for clarity and I also find myself having to stop the e-string failure which seems to happen even when I think I'm doing a lovely full stroke.

Also, I think the violin should be setup well, and the better the violin and bow, the better. Then you can feel even better if you are doing right or wrong. But however, I might guess that this tests how well you know your violin.

[This message has been edited by staylor (edited 03-22-2002).]

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My sincerest thanks to all the helpful suggestions and comments.

Oh, btw, vieuxtemps, you're not a loony for suggesting the sustained bow exercises; I've started incorporating them in my warm-up routine and find it helps greatly.

It's great to be able to come to a board with a question and get constructive feedback. laugh.gif

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