Wieniawski Polonaise in D

June 22, 2006 at 04:31 AM · I recently started to polish this piece for competition and I have a few questions about it.

In the Risoluto don't most people play the double-stops triplets as richocet?

Also is it common to throw out the repeat?

I'm pretty sure my edition has something different than most in a couple places so does any one know what comes directly after the fingered octaves after the first Tutti? And then what about 2 bars after the poco ritardando and right before the animato? Also what do all of you do for the upbow staccato do you put any breaks?

Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. I know there is more than one "right" way just don't know what any of the other ones are so anything you have would be of help!

Replies (14)

June 23, 2006 at 02:09 AM · This definitely won't win you any competitions, jon studer, but consider this:

Since the name of this piece is "Polonaise Brillante" written by a Polish violinist-composer of the late 19th century, how would such a composer of that era perform his "Polonaise" as he intended it to be written?

As I said, you won't win any competitions with this mode of thinking. But it might help you consider the options, particularly when you try to bring out the quasi-march aspect of a "Polonaise".

June 23, 2006 at 02:31 AM · when you say 'polish the peice', is the pun intended? :)

June 23, 2006 at 03:28 AM · This piece is of course fine for a competition, maybe not the best choice, but a fine choice. The piece was actually composed around 1851 in Russia when the Wieniawski brothers were touring Russia. The intention of this piece was and is to impress the general listener and show of a performers brilliance. As for playing in time especially the risoluto...this is the perfect piece for rubato. Maybe if it's Wieniawski you're so fond of, you might go up one opus to the opus #5 Adagio Elegiaque to show off your singing ability?

As for the staccato, this was of course a Wieniawski trade mark at the time...check out the Ecole Moderne that was dedicated to the great Ferdinand David, I have studied David's compositions and programs, I am nearly certain that this op.10 was over his head :-)

Also check out the staccato thread...I have some comments on there, including an etude by the cuban Joseph White dedicated to Wieniawski that will whip your bow into shape and allow for your brilliance to shine through the op.4.

June 23, 2006 at 04:47 AM · Actually for the competition this is the required piece as well as your choice of any Bach movement and then another piece of your choosing not by either Bach or Wieniawski..... so any advice you could give me to set mine apart from the other 100 people would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

June 23, 2006 at 11:43 AM · It sounds like you have the funky International Edition edited by Francescatti. He re-wrote several places from the original and re-arranged otherwise very beautiful parts. You might look into another edition. The original is much more elegant and Polish. Polish the Polish music... that IS a good one.

June 23, 2006 at 05:00 PM · Agreed David, the first edition by Litolff, although hard to acquire, is the best. The piece is of course brilliant enough without the help of a 20th century virtuoso editor. I believe this is also the only edition to show the dedication to Karol Lipinski.

June 23, 2006 at 05:19 PM · no I have Schrimer's... but some recordings have something more interesting after the octaves... it shows dedication to Charles Lipinski and is edited by Leopold Lichtenberg

June 23, 2006 at 06:16 PM · The Lichtenberg is a fine edition. When Wieniawski came to San Francisco he met with Lichtenberg and was so impressed he took him on the rest of his tour and eventually brought Leopold back to Belgium with him to study. This edition is very true to Wieniawski and is of course edited by one of his students.

June 23, 2006 at 06:26 PM · From: SKOWRONSKI: CLASSICAL RECORDINGS

To: Jon Studer

Dear Jon: Using the Schirmer edition is just fine. As to how to set your rendition of the Polonaise in D Major apart from the 'ordinary', --for awhile, try the following in concept and during your practice sessions.

1- adhere to Mr. Huang's remark pertaining to the definite military 'character' of the piece,,,, JI-rine posture, chin in, shoulders back, etc., etc. Assume the position of power!

2- forget the idea of trying to 'impress' via SPEED for the sake of speed!! SLOW DOWN!! If -when the Polonaise reaches performance attitude- you allow the listener to hear and experience every single note that you play.......the Polonaise will appear to sound considerably faster than you are actually playing it. A helter-skelter, Keystone Cop chase won't sell the 'merchandise.'

3- conjure as much BRAVURA edge and subsequent brilliance that you can muster,......... then intelligently add it to the above.

4- play with abandon and panache yet hold firmly to a proven SKOWRONSKI-ism: "HEART ON FIRE -- MIND ON ICE!"

Best of luck,

Skowronski: Classical Recordings

June 23, 2006 at 06:27 PM · I of course prefer the Wieniawski motto "Il faut risquer"..."One (I) must take risks!"

June 23, 2006 at 08:47 PM · very clean at a moderate tempo sounds more impressive than muddy at a quick tempo, in simpler terms.


June 23, 2006 at 09:19 PM · I of course respectfully disagree to an extent. Your description Charlie, to me, sounds boring. Boring does not win you a competition. Perfection is indeed boring :-)

June 23, 2006 at 10:01 PM · Charlie's "boring" tempo probably wouldn't impress competition jurists, but it would probably win over general audiences!

Besides, this work has way too much stuff in it to sound "boring" even if one were to play it mechanically. If anything, a more mechanical approach would be more interesting to audiences than the overly rhapsodic versions I've never grown accustomed to hearing. Audiences like to hear violin playing that's on rhythm and has discernible notes.

I try to perform this piece with as straight a rhythm as I can so that my violin playing lines up with the militaristic pulse of the orchestra/piano.

June 24, 2006 at 01:27 AM · "The right measure will be attained if students of music stop short of the arts which are practised in professional contests, and do not seek to acquire those fantastic marvels of execution which are now the fashion in such contests, and from these have passed into education. Let the young practise even such music as we have prescribed, only until they are able to feel delight in noble melodies and rhythms, and not merely in that common part of music in which every slave or child and even some animals find pleasure."

Looks like Aristotle agrees with you Jon. I would imagine him not being a huge fan of paganini-style playing ;)

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