Zigeunerweisen Questions

March 11, 2018, 7:06 PM · Hello All,

My teacher recently started me on Zigeunerweisen for my high school senior recital and I have a couple questions about the piece:

1. For the mute section before the fast section, should a mute be used? There are recordings of people who don't use the mute and others who do.
2. How fast is it should the fast section be taken? I don't want lightning fast but I don't want to bore the audience either.
3. What is a good way to practice the fast section? I am trying to practice the section really slow with a metronome but it is still kind of hard to put together. Any good fingerings would be great also.
4. When doing the left-hand pizzicato in the fast section, should the tip of the bow be used or the middle for the alternating arco notes?


Replies (8)

March 11, 2018, 8:49 PM · What does your teacher say? For the fast section, I wouldn't play it fast until you can be reasonably comfortable with it. Play it slow many times, and familiarity will automatically push you to play it faster. Anywhere from 130-150 for the quarter note for the fast section is good, I think.
Edited: March 11, 2018, 9:35 PM · For the LH Pizz section, the alternating arco notes are basically spiccato, right? So my guess (as an amateur who thinks LH Pizz is mostly a stupid contrivance that doesn't even sound good when Heifetz does it) would be to use the part of the bow that you would use for spiccato.
March 11, 2018, 9:35 PM · I think the middle to lower half seems appropriate.
March 12, 2018, 9:36 AM · LH Pizz is a contrivance, created simply to show off;)
March 12, 2018, 3:19 PM · About the only good reason for LH pizz IMHO is, for instance, in orchestra where there is a pizz (hopefully on an open string) instantly followed by a busy arco passage - some composers don't always think through the ergonomics of that situation!
Edited: March 12, 2018, 4:54 PM · I always did it in the upper half of the bow. I think lower half of the bow sounds too harsh.
I used to think LF pizza was cool back in the old days when I could do it. Now I can no longer do that nor audibly snap my fingers. (PIZZA HA! HA! That;s my provincial, ignorant computer thinking for itself!!)

I always played the middle section with a mute - but you can get a similar effect bowing lightly and closer to the fingerboard. It depends on the tone qualities of your fiddle and what yu want to sound like.

March 12, 2018, 6:22 PM · Thank you all for your input! Will take them into consideration! :)
March 14, 2018, 10:25 AM · Hey, I'm also a junior in high school and am also using the Zig for my high school senior solo! I'm just wondering — how are you practicing the part where you shift for the harmonics in the allegro molto vivace section on what I believe is on the fourth page? I don't know if you've gotten there yet but I'm kind of struggling getting that part up to tempo. Good luck!

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