Dvorak cello concerto - violin soloRepertoire: I am going to be playing the violin solo in the Dvorak cello concerto in November, with our orchestra's competition winner. I'm going to be working with my violin teacher on the solo, but I'd also just like to chat with anyone who's played it before.
From Karen Allendoerfer
I was listening to the piece and heard what sounded like a violin solo. I checked out the 1st violin part, and, sure enough, there it is. This is a volunteer community orchestra, of which I am the concertmaster. They might be able to hire a ringer for the solo if I asked them to, but I'm excited to try it myself. A couple of years ago, I did the Tchaikovsky "Mozartiana" concertmaster solo, which seemed to go well enough and was a great learning experience in any case, and I think that was more difficult than this one. My teacher is going to work with me, but she doesn't know the solo and has never played/performed it herself. So I just wanted to see if there was anyone out there who might have played this solo before, and chat virtually. Any tips? Fingerings and/or bowings to be recommended or avoided? Recordings where the violin soloist sounds particularly good.
The aspect that weighs on my mind a little bit for this solo, over others that I've done, is that if I mess up it will affect the cellist too, it's not just all on me. And I want to do what's best for him, since this is his moment.
From John CaddThere is a masterclass series done by Paul Tortelier using the Dvorak Concerto on youtube .It was on BBC tv many years ago and is gold dust for any musician.
Posted on August 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM
From Scott ColeI've played it recently. The bowings need to be split up if you are to produce enough sound.
Posted on August 21, 2012 at 02:22 PM
From Terry HsuIn any solo part, don't pay any attention to any quiet piano markings. Piano is forte if you're the soloist. And forte is superloud with a little grit in your sound. So as Scott is suggesting, use lots of bow.
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Piano is a character marking, not a volume level. Figure out how to get the most volume out of your instrument and go from there. Whatever you do, the volume level is loud!!
I would take solace in that you have a good cellist playing the part with you. That will only make it easier on you. :)
From Raphael KlaymanWow - I'd almost forgotten about my own brief exposure to this situation many years ago. It was not fun. I was concertmaster in a summer festival orchestra, we had a distinguished guest cellist from Europe, the conductor was unprepared, we had only 1 rehearsal as I recall - and I had to sight-read the solo! It was the cellist who had to cue me for my solo, whose first beat I missed - arrgghhh!
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 04:38 AM
After all that it was decided that we would perform only the 1st mvt., as the conductor could not learn it in time. Nice!
The fact is though, that the solos are not all that difficult, though you need secure fingerings for the high positions. They do need some guts to come out with them. That's a key: really play out in a nice way, as Scott and Terry said. You're not subserviant to the cellist; you're both playing a duet there. I've heard Yo Yo Ma play it with the NYP, and when Glenn Dicterow played his solos, they were two great soloists playing. Without chopping the musical line, use what ever bowing sub-divisions and fingerings work for you to play expressively and to really project. Don't get a ringer. Have fun with it!
From Karen AllendoerferWe have rehearsed the piece a few times now, and the soloist is coming on October 10 (concert is November 4, we rehearse 1x/week). I was feeling pretty good about the violin solo in the practice room. I have fingerings that I feel good about and bowings that, I think, allow me to play out strongly and project when/if needed.
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 03:46 AM
And then tonight at rehearsal I got a really bad case of nerves and I got the bow shakes.
My intonation was acceptable, especially given that it can get affected by nerves as well. My hands weren't cold. But my tone was really not the best.
The problem is, I'm sitting there for all these measures of rest and then all of the sudden, I have to come in. Out of the blue. On a D#. As I'm counting down the measures, I just feel the tension start to build. I need something to think about to distract myself other than "oh cr**, here it comes!" But I can't distract myself too much or I might miss my entrance.
What do you say to yourself, in your mind to keep yourself calm, if you're not playing and just counting the measures rest?
From Bruce BoddenI sympathize. Been there, done that, didn't like it.
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 04:29 AM
What I try to do now is think about what needs to happen in the music, in terms of "what needs to happen in the music," and NOT in terms of "I have to do this, I have to do that." Because as soon as it's a question of me having to do it, I immediately start wondering if I can, and I am not interested in going down that road again.
From Bart MeijerIf it helps, imagine our envy!
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM
From Frieda FrancisSay, "I'm going to sound great and have fun playing it!" And tell yourself that no one will care about a missed note here or there.
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 02:54 PM
For me, if I have lots of rests, I try to memorize the orchestral lead-up to my entrance so that I feel my entrance instead of solely having to count it (assuming it's not a weird meter). Pick a part in the orchestra that's easy for you to follow. Play or sing along with that part when you are practicing, up until your solo. Then practice listening to that part and singing it in your mind until your solo entrance. For me that kind of helps me get more into the music as it's going on and be warmed up psychologically.
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