My last teacher wanted me to play through Bach with strict adherence to rhythm, claiming that rubato lent too much of a romantic feel to the music. He also wanted to emphasize the short notes by making sure I didn't cheat them of their time in the spotlight. And I should also keep the melody line flowing, uninterrupted. After lingering on the short notes, and maintaining the melody line, trying at the same time to keep up with the metronome, I ran into a technical wall deemed unsurmountable by the laws of physics: you cannot create the extra time you need to draw beautiful chords from your violin while adhering to the previously mentioned rules.
How do you fit your Bach chords in? Do you steal time from the previous note in the melody, or the note that follows it? Do you play the chord quickly and get on with it, or do you give it a little rubato and slow the melody down there, as though passing over a speed bump?
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