Problems a professional-level violinist might have with the Tchaikovsky VC

June 26, 2006 at 05:04 AM · I've got a hypothetical situation here. Two violinists, both post-conservatory and professional-level playing, are talking about an upcoming prestigious competition. One violinist says he's struggling with a few passages of the Tchaikovsky VC he'll be performing and the other violinist (who will not be competing) offers to listen to him and give him a few tips. (She makes her living as a soloist, so it's likely to be good advice.)

Afterwards, he thanks her for the tips, saying they helped. Now - what would be the tips she would offer him? It can't be too obviously a teacher/student tip, because both violinists are pretty high up there on the technical scale. But surely even a professional might fret over difficult passages in the Tchaikovsky, yes?

It can be as simple as "thanks for the suggestions on overcoming that sticky passage in the middle of the third movement" or "the last part of the cadenza", but I'd really like to get a bit more detailed here. Maybe bowing issues? (This is for my novel-in-progress, BTW.) Any help you can provide here would be much appreciated. It could even be a comment on what you didn't like about a famous violinist's performance of the Tchaikovsky, or what you thought he/she could have done better.

Hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance for your help!

Replies (55)

June 26, 2006 at 05:37 AM · I got an excellent suggestion/observation about the Tchaikovsky from a fantastic violinist:

It's a far more classical composition than one generally thinks. Don't let yourself get tied up with too many violinistic affections, just play it. Take it a hair faster than normal. At the end of the day, it's a joyful work and it tends to get quite overdramatized.

June 26, 2006 at 05:25 AM · I like the concept of this post, Terez. This'll be a controversial thread, for sure.

When I play this concerto with orchestra, I try my hardest to make sure that the conductor and orchestra fit with what I'm doing. That said, I'm sure that things I suggest here that I've done in concert would likely get any violinist knocked out of any competition for daring to do them:

In the first movement, the massive technical section right before the 2nd big orchestral tutti starts out with ascending E scales that culminate in triplet figures on the "and" beats. I always try to line up the opening of those scales on the downbeat as written in the music. This also ensures that the orchestra's hit comes squarely on the beat as written in the music.

I do something a bit unusual in that last movement. I place my heavy accents on the 2nd and 4th beat, a practice I now call "the Russian backbeat". I do this because of the "boom-chik" rhythm in the orchestra and I want my violin playing to line up with that underlying beat. Also, I try not to play at a speed where the orchestral runs get obscured. Often I have trouble keeping the tempo reined in. I developed my "boom-chik" as a response to rushing and also because I liked the "Russian" feel that it gave me.

There's a big descending 16th note run in the last movement that EVERYBODY plays as a triplet instead of a four note 16th figure. I play it exactly the way it's written in the score, which supposedly Milstein did on one of his early recordings. I have a later recording of Milstein where he did the triplet thing just like everybody else does.

June 26, 2006 at 06:11 AM ·

Yes, Kevin is right, just play those 16ths as written without any rubato. Also use cuts in the last movement, I can't stand the piece without cuts. The 1st and 3rd movements have the typical ballet character, and require lightness. The 2nd movement is very ecclesiastical in nature, it’s really a chorale.

June 26, 2006 at 07:34 AM · Keith, do performers who use cuts that are not part of the original score not show disrespect for the composer's work?

Aside, I find that the cuts in the last movement do not work; the theme is an eight-bar phrase. Cutting this f-major section, to me, ruins the pulse of the music.

June 26, 2006 at 01:02 PM · These kind of details are exactly what I want - many thanks! Please keep them coming!

June 26, 2006 at 02:32 PM · Heh heh, Terez. You asked for it then!

Tchaikovsky wrote this concerto as dialogue. It's not "The soloist plays and the orchestra accompanies". Hence it's important that the soloist listen to what the other musicians are doing and phrase accordingly. The violinist is often accompanying the orchestra, and it sounds better when a violinist is aware of that. Of course, that's NOT how things are done nowadays.

When I perform this work, I never just "saw through it". I dovetail my entrances based on what the orchestra previously gave me, and I often "hand off" my phrases to the winds. Sometimes I'm "trading licks" as happens in the last movement all over the place, and I'm always aware of my syncopations since the orchestra is in constant rhythmic dialogue with the soloist particularly in the 2nd movement.

I have not gotten the chance to perform this work with orchestra in 10 years, and my interpretation has become more score-adherent as I've gotten older and acquired instruments that allowed me to keep pace without a major struggle.

If you use any of my unsolicited real concert BS in your novel, Terez, give me a kudo!

June 26, 2006 at 05:06 PM · I'll keep that in mind, Kevin! Now, allow me to tamper around with one of your thoughts here (I would paraphrase what you've written here, BTW, to avoid "stealing" your words):

>In the first movement, the massive technical section right before the 2nd big orchestral tutti starts out with ascending E scales that culminate in triplet figures on the "and" beats. I always try to line up the opening of those scales on the downbeat as written in the music.

Okay, a question to the group. Suppose my violinist #1 argues that this is what he has decided to do. What would you, as violinist #2, argue against this? What might be the unfavorable result this would produce? And do let's keep this hypothetical. (Kevin, you yourself might be able to offer a dissenting opinion to what you've mentioned, as you have a great ability to analyze and eloquently explain your interpretative choices.)

Thanks again for the help!

June 26, 2006 at 05:10 PM · Oh, and BTW, I have to head out for the day, so please don't interpret a lack of reply here as lack of interest. I'll be dreaming of Tchaikovsky all day long...

June 26, 2006 at 06:28 PM · Kevin makes some great observations... in a hypothetical situation, violinist 2 would probably say something to the effect of doing what Kevin recommends could make the music sound too vertical and mythodical, therefore lacking the joyous spontaneity that this piece requires.

June 26, 2006 at 06:35 PM · "Keith, do performers who use cuts that are not part of the original score not show disrespect for the composer's work?

Aside, I find that the cuts in the last movement do not work; the theme is an eight-bar phrase. Cutting this f-major section, to me, ruins the pulse of the music."

Well I think this piece is a fine piece without the cuts but an even greater one with the cuts. The last movement becomes redundant and repetitive without the cuts. All the cuts do is eliminate this by getting rid of a few chromatic scales. All the great recordings of this ie Heifetz, Rabin, Kogan, Oistrakh etc. use the cuts.

June 26, 2006 at 06:55 PM · The beauty of this, Terez, is that I DON'T have to keep it hypothetical. That's because the way that section is played today is borne out in every concert hall and every recording I've ever heard, including my own when I was younger and dumber!

Years ago, Oscar Shumsky dared to play the Tchaikovsky exactly as written. He complained that conductors were so used to doing it the standard way that they just couldn't deal with him.

I've long thought about how to deal with this problem, and my solution is this. Whenever I am engaged to play a classical work with any musician, I'll sit him or her down and point out a few "problem spots" before we even break out the instruments. That doesn't solve every problem, but it does put people on notice that I'm not going to do something just because everybody else does it (particularly when it doesn't match up with what the score is telling people to do).

No violinist alive or dead I know about has ever played that section as written in the score. And hey, it works the way people do it. It's become so commonplace that it's EXPECTED that a violinist soloist change the written rhythm at that part. My friends get PO'ed at me because I'll go "Arrgghh" in the middle of a concert when somebody doesn't play that section as written. But since nobody else is complaining, I don't have a right to either.

Now the reason I myself don't do it the way everybody else does is this: The orchestra is playing on the backbeat in that one section. I have never gotten the chance to have more than 2 rehearsals with any orchestra before appearing on stage as a soloist, so I can't afford to throw the orchestra at any point if I can avoid it. Once orchestras get in their rhythmic groove, it's very hard to get them out of it. So I take the "If you can't beat 'em, JOIN 'EM" approach and keep my tempos steady in accordance to the score. Besides, I do it Tchaikovsky's way because it feels better to me than the way everybody else does it today. When that passage is played strictly in rhythm, it completes the transition between the legato and percussive portions seamlessly from a rhythmic and stylistic standpoint.

That's why I DON'T say anything to other violinists when I hear them do those kinds of things, Terez. Besides, I'm more interested in appreciating the whole performance than nitpicking little details. On the other hand, I don't have to endorse 100% of everything I hear either.

June 27, 2006 at 04:11 AM · Kevin. Stop. For. A. Minute. Please. Many, many thanks for your help here. In particular, I found your first reply to be insightful and helpful. From there, however, your comments have sprouted and taken little lives of their own and confused even me as to what question they were supposed to be answering. In truth, I’m looking for a few brief sentences to shove into my 90,000 word manuscript. Tiny, detailed, distilled nubs of information. Your stories have a place on this forum – you’ve been exemplary at starting threads that encourage everyone to muse about their own experiences. But here, selfishly, I’m seeking an answer to my own question. I proposed “hypothetical” in order to keep it short, succinct and free from personal agenda.

Please do not interpret my comment as ingratitude. I greatly appreciate your help here. You have provided me with an excellent example of the single first line I am seeking. Pieter has provided me with an excellent example of a reply. Now I can use a dialogue such as this:

“Thanks for listening to my run-through yesterday,” he said.

She smiled. “No problem – hope it helped.”

“Oh, sure.” He paused. “Although on that one section in the first movement, right before the second big orchestral tutti, I still think it’s best to line up the opening of the ascending E scales on the downbeat. That way the orchestra's sure to come in right on the beat. It’s in the music that way, after all.”

“Well, I told you what I thought of that. Doing it could make the music sound too vertical and methodical. You’re cutting out the spontaneity that this piece requires. It’s supposed to sound joyful, not pedantic.”

He scowled at her. “Oh… who asked you?”

“Um, you did.”

“Okay, so I did. Now go away.”

She laughed and stayed put.

Okay, please correct me if I’m off the mark here. Or please feel free to use this format and insert a different choice violinist #1 might make, as well as #2’s reply.

Thank you, Kevin, Pieter, Keith, Paul. Your input here is much appreciated.

June 27, 2006 at 04:46 AM · I have no advice on the topic, but I wanted to say that I would LOVE to read your novel when it's finished! :)

June 27, 2006 at 05:08 AM · Lisa, it's going to kick butt! Now all I'll need to do is find an agent and/or pub house that's on the lookout for butt-kicking violinist angled novels.

Thanks for your vote of confidence. : )

June 27, 2006 at 05:23 AM · Here it is in a sparse Hemingway style which both avoids the issue you're struggling with and adds realism.

"Thanks for helping," he said.

She smiled. "Hey."

He paused. "That one spot. I like it better my way though."

"I told you what I thought of that," she said.

He scowled at her. "Who asked you?"

She scowled back. "Listen, you aren't going to make it to the concerto round. You haven't got a chance."

Her eyes darted around the room. "I need to get out of here."

June 27, 2006 at 05:22 AM · Jim - brilliant!

Oh, BTW, have to tell you I was ROTFL over your post #102 of the Great E-Bay Strad issue. Sooooo funny.

June 27, 2006 at 05:46 AM · He's hard to do business with. I just lost it. What can I say?

June 27, 2006 at 05:48 AM · >The un(self)censored version of 102 was better.

The thought has me ROTFLing even more. It's scaring the kitty.

June 27, 2006 at 05:49 AM · Whoops, Jim - you edited on me! Sorry, I have to keep your line in. It's just too funny to take out.

June 27, 2006 at 06:27 AM · Ok, here's your version exactly but using the smallest adjustments possible to translate it to realistic musician lingo (as far as I know).

“Thanks for listening to my run-through yesterday,” he said.

She smiled. “No problem – hope it helped.”

“Oh, sure.” He paused. “Although in the first movement, right before the second big tutti, I still think it’s best to put the first note of the ascending E scales on the downbeat. That way the orchestra comes in on the beat. It’s in the music that way, after all.”

“Well, I told you what I thought of that. It's too metronomic. It’s supposed to sound joyful, not pedantic.”

He scowled at her. “Oh… who asked you?”

“Um, you did.”

“Okay, so I did. Now go away.”

She laughed and stayed put.

June 27, 2006 at 06:56 AM · I'm not sure...it sounds a little unnatural for musicians to be talking to each other that way. I would say that when I talk to my friends about music, it's far less specific than that. I might be wrong, but that's the impression I get from just casually reading the passage about the downbeat thing. Maybe your characters could debate what kind of stroke to use in the last movement. I think some people tend to play it more off the string than others, and it's certainly something someone might comment on if they were listening to a friend play. I'll ponder this further...

June 27, 2006 at 07:49 AM · That's a very good point. If you want it to sound right to real musicians, first find a truly likely thing for them to discuss. Then, put together the realistic-sounding exchange. I think that particular paragraph will sound wrong no matter how you tweak it, because the first thing got left out. There's your ticket.

June 27, 2006 at 08:45 AM · Jim, I like what you wrote. Thanks!

Amy, I like what you said. C'mon, baby, don't stop there! Let's coax it out of you. I'm seeing it.... I'm feeling it... Don't stop don't stop don't stop!!!

Sorry. Ahem. It's late. What on earth are you two doing up as well? (As I normally get up at 4am, this is eye-poppingly late for me.)

June 27, 2006 at 09:03 AM · Okay, I'll go ahead and stick this version here, as well. It was done before I saw Jim and Amy's replies. And Jim, I didn't steal the "hey" from you - if you can believe it, that's what is in my original draft. Great minds think alike, I guess. Oh, and I added some sensory detail because... well, because I wanted to. It just looked so... naked otherwise.

She slipped into the kitchen. The overhead lights had been turned off and the light by the kitchen sink bathed the room in a gentle glow. “Hey there,” she said.

He glanced up and smiled when he saw her. “Hey there.” They said nothing more as he wiped the last counter, but the silence between them was friendly, even conspiratorial. It had been that way since they’d gone out to dinner together. A light breeze through the kitchen window sent the lace curtain there stirring. The fog had come in. She felt the whisper of cool air against her bare shoulders and chest, insufficiently covered by the silk camisole, and longed suddenly for the protection of the jacket, slung over the arm of the living room couch.

“It’s sounding good,” she said finally. “The Tchaikovsky, I mean.”

“Thanks. I appreciated the pointers.”

“…but,” she supplied.

He grinned. “Well, yes. You know my thoughts on that spot there in the first movement. Right before the second tutti.”

The conspiratorial mood disappeared. “Well, why did you ask then? You know where I stand on that. The way you were doing it made it sound too… I don’t know. Vertical. Pedantic.”

“I’m just lining up the opening of the scales on the downbeat. Like what’s written.”

“Fine. But you need to make it sound more spontaneous. Those triplet figures—play with them a little more. All of it. How are you going to stand out, otherwise?”

He scowled at her. “Oh… who asked you?”

“Um, you did.”

“Okay, so I did. Now go away.”

She laughed and stayed put.

June 27, 2006 at 10:28 AM · You got him taking her out to dinner, plus wiping down the kitchen when they get back. The only other thing you gotta do is have him lose the competition to save her life somehow and you got a million seller!

June 27, 2006 at 05:07 PM · >You got him taking her out to dinner, plus wiping down the kitchen when they get back. The only other thing you gotta do is have him lose the competition to save her life somehow and you got a million seller!

Except that that his wife is in the living room as they speak, playing hostess to the other guests they invited over for dinner. (Dinner out together was a week earlier.) And eight years earlier he suffered an accident just before the finals of a prestigious competition that she (my protag) went on to win.

It's not called Dirty Little Secrets for nothing.

June 27, 2006 at 03:51 PM · Very good Terez! That's really how it works in real life on that one passage in the concerto!

The only thing that's different between what I really do in real life and what your character did is that I don't scowl - I shrug my shoulders. Same intent, slightly different mode of expression, greater sense of helplessness on my part.

June 27, 2006 at 05:07 PM · Thanks Kevin! Yup, I have my characters shrugging like mad all through my novel - it's a great expression that says so much. I'm sure I've overused it. Scowl, shrug, shake head - I need to find more creative ways to say the same thing.

June 27, 2006 at 06:15 PM · Jim wrote:

"If you want it to sound right to real musicians, first find a truly likely thing for them to discuss. Then, put together the realistic-sounding exchange."

How's this?--

Him: I think the chicken sangwidge at the Carnegie Deli really blows.

Her: Yeah, and they brought me a glassa milk that had a BM in it!

[that actually happened to me there]

June 27, 2006 at 06:18 PM · >Scowl, shrug, shake head - I need to find more creative ways to say the same thing

hmm, lessee.

glower, wither, stare icily, sneer, sulk, gripe, frown.....spurn, evade, ostracize, disregard, deride, recalcitrate, brush aside, waive....

(maybe)

Oh, and I would like a copy of your book, too! :-)

June 27, 2006 at 06:38 PM · Scott,

a BM? Please don't mean what I think you mean.

I HAAAATE Carnegie Deli. It's so gross!

Preston

June 27, 2006 at 06:46 PM · Terez, one paragraph and I'm hooked! You'd better hurry up and finish it now. JK Rowling, move over! :)

June 27, 2006 at 08:11 PM · Or, to do what Jim did as a Hemingway offering, how about turn it into the trashiest sort of pulp fiction:

He half-turned away as if to leave, but, noticing the steady gaze she was affording him, was drawn back in towards her. “Oh – and thanks once again for listening to my run-through yesterday,” he added.

Her lips puckered in an impudent smile. “No problem – hope it helped.” But he sensed from the look on her face the as yet undefined intent behind this seemingly bland response. He couldn’t possibly stop now, her sheer wealth of animal magnetism drew him on and on.

He noticed her bosom heave slightly as he leaned in towards her and, in a more confidential tone, began again. “But how can I convince you - that one section in the first movement, right before the second big orchestral tutti, it just feels so /right/ the way I do it – I feel it so strongly - to line up the opening of the ascending E scales on the downbeat, compel the orchestra to come in right on the beat; it’s in the music that way, after all.”

She suppressed a little hiccough of a laugh and cocked her head slightly to one side as she took a step back. “Well, I told you what I thought of that. Doing it makes the music sound too vertical and methodical - you’re cutting out the spontaneity that this piece requires. It’s supposed to sound joyful, but you make it sound downright pedantic.”

He glared at her, feeling his face bristle from the affront; desperate to delineate the unchartered emotional territory she had led him into, he now felt a chasm of politics and retribution suddenly opened up between them. “Oh… and who asked you?”

“Well, didn’t you just?” she replied, pert as ever and totally unfazed by his reaction.

He eyed her steadily. She had built him up and let him down, played with him and had her fun. But he wouldn’t give up so easily. Next week he would be getting his Glazunov out.

“Okay, so I did. Now go away.”

She laughed and stayed put.

June 27, 2006 at 10:04 PM · Haaaaa. Why wait till next week?

June 27, 2006 at 10:32 PM · great...

now we can divide soloists playing the Tchaik into 'bosom heavers' 'and the vertically inclined.

June 28, 2006 at 01:23 AM · Hey, Jim Hoyle, how did you get a hold of my first draft?!

But you need to use Jenna's suggestions, as well:

He glowered with a withering raised eyebrow as she spurned his manful advances, disregarding -- nay, even deriding his manly form, so sleekly clad in tight fitting britches that threatened to ostracize the humbler lads from the village. "Do not recalcitrate me, you knave," she breathed, brushing aside his bow that waved at her and even now threatened to impale her. The thought made her bosom heave some more.

June 28, 2006 at 01:24 AM · LOL

June 28, 2006 at 03:44 AM · Speaking of LOL, hilarious comment, Scott! And Karin - what a great comment - thanks! (Now where did you want me to send that bribe check to?)

June 29, 2006 at 03:14 PM · Preston done wrote:

"Scott,

a BM? Please don't mean what I think you mean."

I'm afraid so. My first month in The Big City, 27 years ago. I was so stunned that I said nothing, and just slid the glass to the end of the table, as far away from me as possible. Finally, the waitress noticed it. She said, "Oh! That was so nice of you not to say anything! You must be from out of town. Would you like a fresh glass?" I shook my head no.

Her vuluptuous bosom heaved under the tight outfit, as I...oops, wrong book.

June 29, 2006 at 05:12 PM · You're welcome, Terez. People who can write fiction astound me. No bribe check needed, but I do want an autographed copy. :D

Scott, that is really, really gross.

June 29, 2006 at 07:29 PM · I used to write for a living to get money for flying lessons. I recently wrote a book for new authors on how to get published, but I can't get the &*(%^#* thing published.

June 30, 2006 at 03:19 PM · Scott - please expound on this most frightening story of yours. I mean... what was it and what was the waitress thinking it was when she saw the glass? Man. Has this got "great story" written all over it, or what?!

And Ray...

>I recently wrote a book for new authors on how to get published, but I can't get the &*(%^#* thing published.

LOL! I once saw a book out there extolling the virtues of self-publishing and I found it rather amusing to note that it had been published by a traditional publisher, rather than self-published.

Back to the Tchaikovsky and my two violinists commenting on #1's interpretation. Do I hear any final dissenting opinions, that this scene just wouldn't be realistic between two violinists of their caliber? Or is literal vs artistic interpretation an issue that even seasoned professionals will debate?

June 30, 2006 at 03:53 PM · I will be the first to say that it isn't realistic because NOBODY (save myself, and my opinion does NOT rate one iota in the world of classical music) plays it the way it's written in the score. At least I haven't run into anybody that hasn't done it #2's way in concert or in recordings. I'd be the first to applaud if I heard it done #1's way.

As far as the literal vs. artistic thing, people just DO what they want. When I've tried to emphasize my views on the literal, they tend to have absolutely no effect or cause people to get angry at me. It's easier for me to just go with the flow and do as everybody else does, at least if I'm playing with others.

June 30, 2006 at 07:56 PM · Terez,

Sounds like a great story, but I agree with Amy. It doesn't seem the thing two violinists would talk about casually, especially two peers.

Comments would probably be much more general, something about how he doesn't need to be forcing the sound or overplaying (something that's done with Tchaik a lot) because he's projecting in the hall just fine, or maybe some tempi suggestions for different sections.

June 30, 2006 at 08:14 PM · Yes they would. I'd say it's pretty realistic!

June 30, 2006 at 08:25 PM · Casual conversations might also include a "Hey, I've got this great fingering/bowing/tempo idea at this or that tricky point that accomplishes the following radical results - e.g. brings out previously hidden voices, makes intonation much more reliable, allows appreciable speed gains, greater clarity vs. orch, etc. etc. etc."

But I'd have to agree with Nicholas that the conversation sounds a little contrived, albeit well informed. Which is half the battle won already. After all, how many H'wood movies have we all seen where a classical music-related scene seems as though the screenplay were written by opening a musical dictionary at random and writing down the first three foreign-sounding terms found therein? The excerpt you've written here might seem a bit contrived or staged (which is easily fixed), but is by no means random or nonsensical a la "Witches of Eastwick" cello seduction scene.

June 30, 2006 at 08:56 PM · Try this:

“You listened to my run-through yesterday,” he said. "Any additional thoughts?"

She smiled. “Not really – did it work for you?”

“Well..." He paused. “Although on that one section in the first movement, right before the second big orchestral tutti, I still prefer to line up the opening of the ascending E scales on the downbeat. That way the orchestra's sure to come in right on the beat. It’s in the music that way, after all, right?”

“Yeah, but to me doing it that way sounds a little too vertical - methodical. I think you're sacrificing some spontaneity. When I play it that way it always seems pedantic, not joyful.”

He scowled in a teasing way. “Oh, who asked you?”

She leaned forward and smiled back. “Um, you did.”

He laughed. “Okay, okay, so I did. Now go away and stop confusing me.”

She laughed and stayed put.

--------

Or this:

She was a beautiful violin. The curve of her scroll heaved, and he could see her soundpost through her f-holes.

Then again, maybe not.

Sandy

July 2, 2006 at 02:53 AM · Ooh, Emily - you're on to something here. Time for me to go play with words again.

And Sandy, what can I say? I think you've invented a new genre. Naughty violin haiku. Here are your pearls of art, crafted into the correct format.

Sandy's Naughty Violin Haiku

Violin beauty

Soundpost beckons through F-holes

Curve of scroll cries love

July 2, 2006 at 06:14 AM · I have no problem with this concerto. I just don't play it,

MP.

July 2, 2006 at 06:56 PM · Terez: You are positively inspiring....

Tchaikovsky Haiku -

Two violinists

Two Tchaikovsky visions

A tutti of love?

:)

July 2, 2006 at 09:20 PM · Emil, Emil, feel free to flog me. How did that "y" get in there? I'd swear it wasn't there yesterday when I posted ((...right after that second glass of wine)).

Okay, Sandy, here's another (and your second line needs one more syllable, yes?):

Violin man right

Line up opening on beat

Music written thus

July 2, 2006 at 09:46 PM · My Haiku fell like a brick.

It's starting to make me sick.

I screwed up the form,

But I can always brainstorm,

And still use my limerick schtick.

:) Sandy

July 2, 2006 at 10:56 PM · Greetings,

to be a haiku man,

you must spend time in Japan,

stuff down the fish,

til you really wish,

You only came for a tan.

Cheers,

Buri

July 3, 2006 at 02:54 PM · Sandy and Buri - love it! : )

July 3, 2006 at 04:10 PM · Okay, last try. Emil, you still out there? Amy? Tell me what you think of this. (Is it technically accurate? Still too pedantic and/or wordy?) Actually, everyone's comments here will be well-appreciated.

***

“So,” he said finally. “The Tchaikovsky. You think it’s sounding okay?”

“Better than okay. But I think you know that.”

“Does that mean you’ve changed your mind about that passage in the last movement?”

“What, our disagreement over your choice of strokes? No, I haven’t changed my mind there. You play it more off the string than I think is appropriate.”

Appropriate? This is my interpretation. You’re acting like there’s one way to play it—your way.”

The conspiratorial mood disappeared. “Well, why on earth did you invite me to watch you, then? So I could gaze adoringly at your performance and tell you it was perfect? I think it’s wonderful. But you made choices in tempo and fingering that, in my mind, fail to draw out what makes the piece so joyful, so powerful. And some of your bowing—sure, it might allow for speed gains, but careful of what you might be sacrificing.”

He scowled at her. “Oh… who asked you?”

“Um, you did.”

“Okay, so I did. Now go away.”

She laughed and stayed put.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe