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Laurie Niles

Getting up to speed

April 7, 2010 at 4:52 AM

So in practicing for the recital I'm giving in a few weeks, I began to wonder exactly how many times Arthur Grumiaux played the last page of Saint-Saëns' "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" before he could clock this beauty somewhere around dotted quarter=144+? I'm guessing he put in his 10,000.

From Bart Meijer
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 6:34 AM

He skips half the notes!

Kidding. It's brilliant.

Here's wishing you lots of success, Laurie!

Is there any possibility that we might get to hear some of your recital on

Good luck, again,


From Michael Pijoan
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 7:19 AM

 Haha, hilarious how he gets ahead of the orchestra and just keeps going as if to say "aw to heck with it, I'm getting to the end, with or without you guys".  

edit: I asked about your program and then saw the link...*d'oh!*

From Anne Horvath
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 1:00 PM
  1. Nice pic!
  2. Wish I could be there!
  3. Good luck!

I have a million Grumiaux CDs.  Did that man ever cut a bad record? 

From Jason Bell
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 1:09 PM

That would be a little over 14 notes a second, which is faster than what is being hailed as the 'world speed record' from Mr. David Garrett and the Flight of the Bumble Bee.

And no offense to him, but the last page of the SS is way more awkward/difficult.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Yes quite fast. I think violinists of that level must also have athlete reflexes in addition of good training!   

Good luck with your recital!!!  I'm sure it will make people very happy. Saint-Saens is a so nice piece.

All the best!


From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Is it even possible to HEAR that fast? It was really hard to clock it on the metronome, it flies by so quickly!

From Michael Divino
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 8:02 PM

 Youuuuuu cannnnnnnnnn doooooooo ittttt!  

One trick that I use is putting three or four coins on your stand.  Play through your spot with your metronome or whatever.  If you play it perfectly, move the coin across the stand.  If you mess up, coin goes back.  Of course, try to focus on why something got messed up.  Good luck and I wish I could be there!




From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 9:15 PM

I'm not there at all but my listener's opinion is that it's pointless to try to go too fast. Too slow is to heavy for sure while too fast loses musicality, dynamic ranges that one cannot do anymore. Especially if it's not an audition or such thing where they want to (I bit my lips to not tell "nastilly" test you).  I think general audience and violinists who are more attracted towards music than virtuality will appreciate better something at a fast tempo that remains musical.

Now that I think even more, maybe it makes sense since even Nathan Milstein (a king in terms of ability to play quick!) told in this excellent video that was discussed on a recent thread (I can't remember the name...) that people nowadays (I'm not pointing you, everybody) tend to have such a fascination to rush and rush through things.

He was giving advice to a young player on this video. A young terrific asian violinist and he told her many times to not rush as much since her playing would be much more interesting if she didn't rush that much.  He said that he realized this when he "grew up" if I remember well.

So no complexes to have for anyone who can do it at an acceptable tempo ; )   Many cannot even do it period!!!



From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Technically, the music says 120, so I'm not going to get too upset if I'm not faster than that! But it sure would be fun...

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