Bruch 3rd mov. concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26

December 21, 2004 at 12:58 AM · question - I'm about to start Bruch's 3rd movement of the Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26... I figure better late than never (I did the 1st movement about 4 years ago). Any suggestions? Major points? And is anyone else working on it?

Replies (18)

December 21, 2004 at 01:39 AM · this is one of my favorites. The main challenge i think is that hte violin essentially has to be bigger than it really is. Like the opening of the brahms concerto. So i'd spend a ton of time trying to figure out how to get that "perlman style" of sound, that is, huge. Volume isn't all of it, its just how it comes off that counts, if it sounds big than its okay. Nothing is more of a letdown that a wimpy sound after thatr orcestral build-up. Remember to keep the left hand light and alive, vibrato is important in the double-stopping passages. The bow must be focused by fluid so you can use large amounts of bow near the bridge without de-railing, if that makes sense. If you have questions about specific things go ahead and ask.

December 21, 2004 at 06:44 AM · This is one of my very favorite pieces to both play and listen! Adding onto what Owen already said this movement must be played very grand with a full sound through out and in order to do that all the hairs must be on the string. Come to think of it the whole movement is either marked Forte or FF even though the section of triplets is marked piano I would not take it too literally and actually play it soft in volume. Basically my advice in terms of sound is play this whole movement loud! Speaking of the triplet sections I think Heifetz had a great interpretive idea of taking the bow off and putting a huge accent on the top of the passage (on the F# and when it repeats the 2nd time on the G#) before the passage descends. Listen for this if you hear his record, I think this really brings drama and excitement to this piece unlike any other.

Another technical aspect to keep in mind are the many double stops in this movement especially 3rds and 6ths. Be sure to show the qualities of the intervals clearly. One other thing before I forget to mention, the last line of the second to last page I would suggest doing fingered octave trills for all four trills (d-e). This is a great way to make other violinists sitting in the front row jealous ;) Have fun with the piece!

December 21, 2004 at 04:57 PM · I'm actually working on the 3rd movement right now. It's really fun to both play and listen to.

I like it partly because you get to play it loud. I'm actually kind of worried because I'm afraid that I generally play too loud, for every concerto. Whenever I perform, the first thing that people say about it is "big sound... you're really good at projecting the sound." Is that supposed to be a compliment or something to worry about? hmmmm...

How would you recommend practicing the tenths on the second page?

Also, for someone who's just beginning the piece, how would you recommend practicing it? I can play the movement slowly right now, but now I have to get it up to tempo. So should I use a metronome and gradually move the tempo up?

December 21, 2004 at 07:46 PM · Hi everyone! Thanks guys for the great advice. octave trills huh? I might be able to manage that! I'll get you a recording when I perform it :-D

I'm a bit worried - I think in this movement I'll be wishing my octaves weren't better than my 3rds and 6ths (they're really bad, just ask my teacher). I'll have to step up my practice a good bit on them. However, my tenths are not too bad - Grace, I practice tenths scales, Flesh book. play them separate and together ALL THE TIME. if you do scales it will be easy in the pieces. even try doing them in the same key as the piece you're working on. as far as getting things up to tempo (this rule especially applies to Barber 3rd mov, if you've played that just do whatever technique you used to get that up to tempo), rhythm and metronome. mix up your rhythms so your fingers completly learn the pattern, no matter what your bow is doing, and definitely play with the metronome and gradually increase the speed. that is usually a full proof technique for me. also there are a lot of threads regarding this same advice, and they may have more to say. Take care!

December 21, 2004 at 08:21 PM · I'm also learning this piece. I'm trying to learn in it a month!! Anyways I've been doing hours of metronome practice a day. Take one passage and drill it with the metronome and then add it to the stuff you have already learned. I really love this piece!

December 21, 2004 at 08:43 PM · i spent way more than a month lol. Grace, there is no way to play too loudly in this piece.

December 21, 2004 at 09:03 PM · At the beginning of the piece, after the first chord, I use the fingering 1 on the e string and 3 on the a string for the first double stop and for the second double stop I use 2 and 4. The problem is that my second finger is stronger than the pinky and it reaches the string before the pinky and so, the double stop isn't coordinated. Do you have any suggestions for solving this problem, besides changing the fingering?

And after each chord, my teacher tells me to lift the bow a little. But when I place the bow back on the string, it is sometimes uncontrolled and it doesn't sound clean. Any suggestions for this?

For the triplets on the second page, there are a lot of string crossings. Would you recommend using your wrist or just lifting your entire arm?

December 21, 2004 at 09:06 PM · Oh... Well, at least I won't have to worry about volume in Bruch 3rd movement.

What about Wieniawski 2? I think I play the double stops on the second page too loud/powerful compared to some of my other friends. But my teacher told me to play it that way, so I don't know...

December 21, 2004 at 10:58 PM · as for the double stops, you just need to practice, they dont really function independantly in that case, do enough scales of thirds and practice double trills some and it will be automatic. as for the double stops in wieniawski, power is great there, if you play louder than your friends thats great.

December 22, 2004 at 01:18 AM · yeah, Grace, of COURSE there are pieces that need a different style and you will need to work on and experiment with playing with different types of sound. however, in most student recitals, I would say the BIGGEST problem, next to not knowing the piece and fumbling notes, is not having enough PRESENCE and VOLUME. there's a difference between playing a piece and portraying the piece to the audience! if people are telling you that you really project, I personally would take that as a compliment. you also need to measure your hall. if you are really concerned, see if you can get access to rehearse in the room/hall you are going to perform in and set up two recorders, one somewhere close to both the pianist and you, and one at the end of the hall. then compare them and see if you really are too loud. regarding wieniawski 2nd mov, what do different recordings do? get a couple and compare them - then see what you like best, loud and bombastic in the double stops like your teacher recommended, or not so much, like your friends play it.

thanks again for the comments!! if there's more, keep it coming :-D

by the way Grace, have you played Wieniawski 1st mov? when I played that, it sent me on a learning curve - it is one of those pieces that calls for a specifc style, certain type of sound. maybe you are entering the era in your playing where research in different styles of playing is a must. I would jump at the challenge.

December 22, 2004 at 02:20 AM · wieniawski is harder than people like to give it credit for.

December 22, 2004 at 03:03 AM · When I wrote, "Wieniawski 2" I meant Concerto No. 2. So I haven't played the 2nd movement. I have only played the first. And Wieniawski is a lot harder than people say it is. The technique is not only hard, but it's hard to play musically.

BTW, have any of you played Saint-Saens 3 or Vieuxtemps 4? How much harder are these concertos than wieniawski? Or are they about the same level? Do you think that saint-saens is harder or is vieuxtemps harder, both musically and technically?

December 22, 2004 at 05:38 AM · Very true Owen, the last movement of the 2nd concerto can be quite tricky if one does actually play it up to tempo.

February 16, 2005 at 06:55 AM · Hi Grace! How are you doing with the piece? I'm polishing it up. The tenths... my advice is definitely just practice tenth scales in the Flesch book, up and down up and down. You'll get comfortable with them pretty quickly. I've played more tenths than octaves I think, and I'm more comfortable with them. So it's really just getting used to playing them. Intonation comes.

February 16, 2005 at 07:11 AM · the key to tenths is to listen to the bottom voice, make sure that is PERFECTLY in tune. The top voice shouldn't be pressed upon by the bow nearly as much and will be really easy to get in tune once the bottom voice is solid.

February 16, 2005 at 07:12 AM ·

February 16, 2005 at 04:40 PM · Hi, Jenn, I was sorry to read about your grandfather.

I'm starting the 2nd movement of the Bruch and I guess I'll be on the 3rd this spring. Thanks for starting the thread because it has lots of helpful pointers. I wish I could hear you play the Bruch!

BTW, whose recordings have you listened to? I have quite a collection now. Accardo is very interesting and has his own approach to Bruch, I'd say he's made a study of it. Among the others, Stern still wins the prize for absolute guts. And then there's Milstein. I also like Perlman, Menuhin, and I have Heifetz but don't listen to it. :-)

February 16, 2005 at 08:35 PM · Another tip about practicing tenths for intonation is to always put your 4th finger down first, then stretch back your 1st finger. As opposed to trying to stretch your pinky, to get to the upper note, which will cause more strain on the hand.

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