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Emily Grossman

8va

October 16, 2006 at 6:43 AM

This week I have been assigned Caprice Basque, by Sarasate, and I’ve had so much fun delving into the previously unknown world of crazyvirtuosocompositions. I don’t think I’ve experienced anything quite like these high notes that show up at the end of the piece. At this point, my efforts resemble something like a tangled spider-scramble toward my nostrils, followed by a bird-like warble, whose pitches don’t really represent any particular note names. Really, I guess it’s not as bad as I just portrayed it, but I must say, playing that high requires some sort of tight-rope balancing act that I haven’t been trained to perform just yet. And, judging by the looks of it, not all the fingerings were ready for such heights, either:


From Gabriel Kastelle
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 7:23 PM
Somersaulting "3" is hilarious! I like that open e as well [I'm guessing it isn't a semi-correct indication of harmonic because of the tempo...]
From Linda Lerskier
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 7:48 PM
Is that flying 3 I see? Oh dear.
From Tom Holzman
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 8:26 PM
Have fun. You might want to try playing it as written without the 8va just to get an idea of how it sounds.

I have the Joachim edits of the Brahms concerto. Joachim had substantial input into the concerto but not the last word. The ultimate version has some jumps to very high notes, and Joachim's edits make clear that it is perfectly acceptable (the notation "ossia") to play those notes an octave lower!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 8:30 PM
One other important consideration. If you feel like you need to scratch your nose while playing the piece, Sarasate has made that easy for you.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 8:25 PM
I was taught it really means open E. It shows up where it's so bleedin fast nobody cares.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 9:52 PM
Gabriel, you pop over to the harmonic on the A string for that one. It works great at a relatively slow speed. I haven't gotten it up to tempo, but I'm really hoping I can keep the harmonics because at least I know those notes will be in tune; they're a great reference point.

Linda, when I see that 3, it makes me thing of religious-themed paintings in the Renaissance (or medieval period?), of the mortals that tipped their heels toward heaven and tumbled off the road of the straight and narrow. I gotta find that particular piece of artwork now.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 10:39 PM
Medieval. Heel tipping was out by 1400 and cow tipping was in.

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