glissando

January 23, 2018, 3:16 AM · I recently learnt that there are several different ways of doing a glissando on the violin; but I'm still pretty hazy as to what those ways might be. Is anybody able to give a list that explains them?
Many thanks!

Replies (4)

Edited: January 31, 2018, 12:16 PM · Apart from the full length slides as in Mahler's adagio movements, or in "gypsy" imitations, I find two sorts of "halfway" glissando:
- shifting from the previous note with its own finger, and popping a new finger on the target note ("classical" shift?);
- sliding into the target note after a silent shift. (Heifetz did this a lot, but it may not sound so good in our hands..) Both of these shifts can also work downwards.
January 24, 2018, 5:00 PM · There is also a sort of "chromatic" slide, where the slide is combined with heavy vibrato motion, hopefully sounding like a series of semitones.
February 2, 2018, 5:04 AM · Hi Adrian, that's really helpful, thank you! Useful to hear about the chromatic slide too; I thought it was just really fast fingers...
Edited: February 2, 2018, 2:24 PM · There is a quick descending chromatic passage* in 1/16 notes in Borodin's Polovtsian Dances. It starts on the second A on the E-string and is impracticable for my wide fingers to play as separately fingered notes, so I use the 2nd finger on that A and slide down using that finger to the E below; bowing does the rest. I think I may be doing silent shifts because I'm nowhere near pressing down on the fingerboard.

* Edit added 2/2/2018
This passage is in the second violin part, starting at measure 207, 4 measures before rehearsal letter G in the IMSLP edition we are using. I believe the first violins are playing the same. This motif is an important one, occurring on 11 other occasions on the same page before the one I've quoted, seven starting on the 2nd G on the E-string, and the remainder in lower positions on the D and G, so it deserves attention to get it accurate each time.

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