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Mendy Smith

A Study of Rubato

October 27, 2008 at 1:28 AM

I spent quite a bit of time this weekend on the 3rd Suite Prelude, putting into into practice what I learned about the use of rubato from lessons last Thursday. This was much more difficult than it seemed at first. Where in the phrase do you slow down or speed up? How many notes do you use to transition from one tempo to another? And then with Bach, there is the question how much vibrato do you use and when?

Then, the nagging question: what tempo should I take the arpeggiated chords in the middle? I've listened to various recordings and live performances. This section can either be taken very fast so that is sounds more like a solid chord, or much slower emphasizing either the lower note or one of the two higher ones. I explored them all, and still don't know what approach I want to take yet. My teacher generally wants me to take a slower tempo, however this section just begs to be built into and played faster than the rest.

There is also the question of dynamics. In the copy that I'm using, none is given. However the bowings indicated lead to some interesting dynamics all on their own. I never paid attention much before on how certain bowings can move a phrase from the frog to tip then tip to frog. A whole new world just opened up to me.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on October 28, 2008 at 5:22 PM
>This was much more difficult than it seemed at first. Where in the phrase do you slow down or speed up? How many notes do you use to transition from one tempo to another?

I imagine rubato is something a violinist can spend a career working on and developing, ultimately using it to define their own style. You're in the big leagues, baby!

From E. Smith
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 2:03 AM
From Robert's post on the discussion board today:

"From Robert Niles
I just converted the site's back-end database to a newer version of the software. However, it took a little longer than I expected, so we lost a few minutes' worth of data.

So if you just posted something to the site and it is not there anymore, well, that's what happened.

Going forward, if you see any bugs on the site in the next day or two, please let me know. Our ETA is Saturday for a new site design, with some new software support."

Eureka, Karin Lin! Laurie didn't erase your post-- Robert is the culprit!

From E. Smith
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 2:04 AM
Okay, and how did THAT get here?

I blame the ghost in Ihnsouk's violin.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 1:25 PM
>Okay, and how did THAT get here?
I blame the ghost in Ihnsouk's violin.

Oh, that's funny! I think you were telepathically communicating a reply to Mendy at the moment you posted on Laurie's thread. (And I'm very glad you posted that reply - it was maybe a good thing for people to read it twice.)

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