Mozart 3 1st Note: Upbow or Downtown?
I know this has been asked before, but I would like your guy's personal opinions on how this note should be played. I have been playing it downtown, but I have recently been experimenting and now I'm kinda stuck and undecided. Upbow is lighter and more "Mozart-like", but downtown is more strong and crunchy, showing th inportance of the note and going with the forte dynamic level.
I play it down.
I prefer downbow. It is a kind of a statement for me, this very first chord folloewd by this next delicate g. And all this comes after a strong introduction which by the way has a distinct and bold line in the double bass. So I cannot approach it in a "light" way. Nothing exaggerated but a simple, bold g major chord. Downwards for me. When I watch or listen to an obvious upbow in this occasion I get a feeling of something being uncertain
I have a long-standing argument, er, discussion, with a colleague about this. I play and teach it upbow; she prefers downbow. It's always validating to find people who share one's opinion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-mA9OMP3DE
I learned it downbow. My teacher plays and teaches it upbow, which I think is better.
Mary got me going and I looked at a few YouTube videos of well known soloists. This is what I got so far:
In 1989 my teacher taught me downbow. Last year I saw one of her current students play it upbow. The world turned upside down...
Down bow, my teacher taught. For many, up bow will not produce strong note as that of down bow.
Thanks for the video, Mary. I actally watched this recording with Hahn today before you showed me the link. The 2nd movement is bliss! Seems like lots of people change their minds on this sort of thing. I guess it all come down to personal preference at the end.
And David, adding to your's, Stern and Gitlis play Upbow.
I think Mozart's intentions are clear, the solo part wasn't provided with dynamic markings here, but when the orchestra states the theme, at the very beginning of the piece, the first quarter note is marked forte, the second quarter is marked piano. Since Leopold Mozart spent a long (and pedantic) chapter in his Violinschule detailing how to make sure to play downbow on strong beats and upbow on weak beats and his son studied violin with him, I'm sure downbow on the first note is what Wolfgang Mozart wanted. That said, to modern ears the off-beat accent of up-down gives it a kind of swing and buoyancy.... it's a question of whether historical accuracy or modern taste should take precedence. I play down-up.
Interesting! Gidon Kremer also plays down-up.
When considering (guessing?) what bowing effect Mozart wanted, other factors that should be be taken into account are that the bow of his day was pre-Tourte with a behaviour closer to that of the Baroque bow, and the strings were all-gut.
First of all, the same down bow weight can come equally well from an up bow. It's a question of bowing technique.
I don't think there is a definitive right or wrong way in this case. In fact, I might change the bowing here depending upon the musical statement I wish to make at that moment in time.
Whichever bowing you do, make sure to count all of the rests leading up to it.
Ooh, down-up is interesting. I'm away from my instrument right now, otherwise I'd be playing around with different options and recording them I do love the G Major...possibly more than the other two, though less than the Sinfonia Concertante.
I think Katherine Dunham nailed it.
Doesn't make any difference at all. The syncopated rhythmic motive is a pretty typical one for Mozart and can be found in many other of his compositions.
watching videos of the great, I am often surprised by bow directions.
Katherine's response <— [thumbs up]
Just to clarify, that's the one with the 3-note chord?
Whatever works best for the intended interpretation I would say.
I'm not in favor of first note *louder* so much as I am first note *brighter*. Up or down are both playable. I find down-retake-down to be awkward however.
Expanding on my previous post concerning bow behaviour, the pointy (light) end of the baroque bow plays quiet, whereas the heavier frog end plays loud. Therefore, playing a long note from point to frog on such a bow will bring about a natural crescendo unless it is otherwise compensated for by altering the bow speed or pressure, or by moving the bow contact point; and vice versa when bowing from frog to point. Perhaps this can throw some light on how music of Mozart's period may have been bowed.
Oh my God did I really write "downtown"in the title?! Oops.
I thought it was a good joke!
Down, why? I comes after the orchestra ends its part with a soft spicatto, so the violin should have a "dramatic" to make a kind of surprise. Yet, the sound should be very bright...it is not Beethoven.