Sarasate Zigeunerweisen

April 22, 2018, 11:17 AM · Hey everyone,
I've been working on the Zigeunerweisen for quite some while now.I have some issues with getting all the notes sound definite and clear in the Allegro Molto Vivace.I've tried slow practise but it hasn't helped much.I'd be grateful if someone could share some ideas for practising this section.
Thank You!

Replies (6)

April 22, 2018, 4:01 PM · What does your teacher suggest? Try practicing in rhythms or practicing in groups of notes e.g play a group of 4, take a rest, then play another group, etc. Maybe it's a coordination thing...
April 22, 2018, 4:38 PM · I have a student who is currently tackling this piece. The last movement is in some places incredible hard. But in general without hearing your playing I would say patient practice can get you there. Definitely try different tempi. If fast doesn't work and slow doesn't help, try something in between and speed it up. Practice very small sections in different tempi and apply the techniques Ella Yu suggested above. In the end, if everything still feels weird and you can make sure it is not a lack of effort or thought you put in, try different bows!
April 22, 2018, 6:59 PM · Thank you! Also what's the ideal tempo for the last section as I've heard some performances at breakneck speed which do not give the music a chance to breathe.Is 125 crochet bpm good enough?
Edited: April 23, 2018, 4:56 AM · The whole point of everything Sarasate wrote for the violin, especially anything with intended "Gypsy" character, is to take every musical element well beyond the limits of good taste. Thus, the rubatos in the first section must be extreme. All pizzicato chords must be accompanied by dramatic arm movements. And in the last section, fast is not nearly fast enough.
April 23, 2018, 2:59 PM · If you want a first-hand opinion from the composer, he left us a recording.
May 1, 2018, 9:07 AM · 1) if this is your first experience with the piece keep your expectations in check. I would call ZW a 1 1/2 hour a day piece minimum. Probably 2. If you pursue a violin career you'll play ZW many times, and it gets easier every time you revisit it.

2) "chunk" practice is a good idea. Practice 4 notes (one beat) at a time, alternating the starting note. Use the metronome. Expand the chunks to 8 notes (or two beats), then entire measures.

3) The most common problem I've encountered teaching this piece (besides insufficient practice time) is students trying to force the bow to adapt to the left hand. That will never work.

The left hand MUST adapt to the motions of the bow. Always keep this in mind.

If your spiccato/sautille is still in a developmental stage clarity can be quite difficult. Maybe practice the first two pages of Schradiek's "School of violin technique" in a spiccato/sautille style until the left hand is completely comfortable adapting to the bounce of the bow. Practice on all four strings. maybe 10 minutes a day, with the metronome.

Students often try to bounce the bow too highly. The bounce in this kind of a piece will be fairly close to the string.

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