Hilary Hahn’s vibrato

October 23, 2017, 9:05 PM · How does this lady make it happen? Her hand *barely* moves, yet she produces this Heifetz-like vibrato. If my hand moves like hers it makes almost no audible vibration.

Replies (9)

Edited: October 23, 2017, 9:06 PM · Her violin is a big component in that.

Great violins need very little physical movement to produce audible vibrato.

October 23, 2017, 9:34 PM · She's definitely impressive. I'm still wondering how she remembers all those notes. I don't remember ever seeing her use sheet music. She's not human.
October 23, 2017, 11:21 PM · No solist uses sheetmusic. If you trained a concert for 50+ hours its burned into her head.
Her clean technice is impressive. She has close to no bow noise.
Her vibrsto is, as everything else, very controlled. Just enough movement to make it happen.
October 23, 2017, 11:30 PM · "It's the finger, stupid!" Seriously, the most important moving part in a vibrato is the final segment of the finger, so that the fingertip rolls back and forth producing the vibrato effect. How you get that final segment to move is the question. In theory you could keep everything stiff and make a huge movement from the arm. But that would disturb a lot of other aspects of violin playing, shake your violin, impede playing fast, etc. In contrast, Ms Hahn has a very flexible final joint and strongly developed left hand so basically she just needs to initiate the movement from the hand or even from the finger itself, hence the little visible movement, but it's the local movement of the final segment of the finger that is all that counts. So, Christopher, work on getting that final joint flexible, see the vibrato section of "Basics" by Simon Fischer, and develop your left hand correctly, again see Basics.
October 24, 2017, 12:00 AM · Her intonation gives me chills. I love her! She has always been my favourite violinist. in fact, she is my laptop wallpaper right now haha! i hope to meet her one day but she never seems to have any concerts in Australia! I'm just an innocent 14 year old who wants to meet her idol :(
October 24, 2017, 12:10 AM · "make a huge movement from the arm. But that would disturb a lot of other aspects of violin playing, shake your violin,"

Huh? Isn't arm vibrato a standard and accepted technique?

October 24, 2017, 12:52 AM · It is, every violinist should have different types of vibrato available and choose depending on the situation.
I went to multiple concerts by Hahn and never regretted paying for the ticket.
October 24, 2017, 4:22 AM · hi Han, like Marc already replied, sure it is, sorry if I gave this impression it was not my intention to start a debate on arm vs wrist vibrato as there have been many threads on this already and, as often mentioned there, it is probably not a useful dichotomy anyway.

by the way Christopher, you refer to Heifetz, there is a video where he makes fun of poor players in which, among other things, he imitates someone making a lot of movement trying to vibrato but without any hearable effect. actually, making fun of people is not such a nice thing to do...but he was doing this for his students, probably his way to show things to avoid. so one of the things he was trying to say is "the visible movement is not the point", like the point I was trying to repeat, probably redundantly so.

October 24, 2017, 6:08 AM · I agree, thats also what I ment when I wrote "just enough movement). A lot of movement gets lost for many players.

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