Legende, Wieniawski, Double Trills on Octaves?

May 7, 2018, 4:31 PM · Hello, all! Quick poll for the hive mind: how many of you actually do the double trills in the octave sections of the Legende? I'm mainly seeing just a trill on the bottom octave in recordings.

Replies (15)

May 7, 2018, 8:07 PM · Maybe one day, but that was the one part of the piece I couldn't get.
May 7, 2018, 10:59 PM · Sorry, I'm not an advanced player and may be this question sounds stupid, but what do you mean exactly by double trills?

If I'm not wrong, a trill in open A means you have to play A and quickly play legato B, alternating: A-B-A-B-A-B... So I understand an octave trill means you need to play the octave with finger 1 and 3 and do the trill using fingers 2 and 4, alternating very fast, which seems complicated from a hand perspective.

May 8, 2018, 2:00 AM · I think on the D's it is doable in 4th position, but the A's in first - not for me. My hand is too small. And the question is if anyone would be able to hear the difference. For me the audible difference would be that if I did the double trill it would sound difficult and that is not what you want.....
Edited: May 8, 2018, 4:38 AM · I think it's a parlor trick that was written into the music in an attempt to make the piece "hard" and therefore playable only by the top few. It's got nothing to do with musicality. If you want beautiful violin music to play, choose pieces that were written by pianists.

Same with left-hand pizzicato. Even Heifetz couldn't make it sound good.

May 8, 2018, 5:28 AM · @Tim Ripond - yes exactly. "complicated from a hand perspective" is pretty much the case, though it is possible. See if you can find the Devil's Trill on youtube.... :)
May 8, 2018, 8:23 AM · The Devi's Trill actually has little double-trilling.
May 8, 2018, 10:28 AM · I agree that some people's hands are just too small to perform them comfortably but there is one thing you can try:

A lot of people don't realize that to perform fingered octaves and tenths more efficiently you need to stretch your first finger down as well as stretching your fourth finger up, so they try to accomplish them soley with a third and fourth finger stretch which can make them too difficult, if not unplayable.

Stretch out your entire hand so that the distance the first finger stretches down is also at maximum. This can increase your ability stretch by quite a bit. The center if your wrist will be closer to the middle of your hand position instead off at the bottom. Get our your Flesch and practice it; see what you come up with.

And please don't hurt you left hand trying to do too much to soon.

May 8, 2018, 10:39 AM · Dounis has a very nice way to put it: fingered octaves are "easier" than thirds in the sense of not having to think about open and close intervals. The important thing is a very relaxed hand, and getting the hand/mind used to the "stretch" so it never gets stressed with undue tension. No need to try to master them in one day, but I feel many musicians are often scared of this technical monster's appearance just based on its dreadful reputation. Only the smallest of hands/fingers should have trouble in the lower positions. I am sure many of you could do them with patient practice. Relax the hand, and have fun.
May 9, 2018, 12:54 PM · i don't see how it's possible for your second finger to come close to the fisrt finger if you streach your first finger back like Ryan Smith explained. I mean i know that this is what you have to do if you want to play decimes? (thats what an octave plus a terz is called in germany) or even bigger intervals
May 9, 2018, 7:23 PM · I did not have a violin handy when I replied to this thread so I replied in a very general fashion. While I was teaching today it popped into my head so I played around with fingered octave trills a bit.

I haven't played Legende in quite a while, probably since early to mid 2000s but iirc the octave trill is a half step trill in first or second position, isn't it? I forgot a massively important step to pulling those off.

The thumb must come completely under the neck and the elbow must take an extreme rightward angle, almost as extreme as you can pull off. Think of the thumb position as it would look if you were a classical guitarist. The pad of the thumb should be directly at the bottom of the neck and the thumb will be pretty straight. There is tension involved in this position but its unavoidable and thankfully brief.

This posture should allow you to trill a half step between both 1 &2 and 3&4 in a low position.

I wish it was easy to post videos here. It would be so much easier to show.

May 12, 2018, 8:14 AM · Just to answer the "poll" I don't do the double trills when performing. I prefer the lower one. When practicing it depends on my mood.

To be honest, I prefer the sound I get with just the lower trill...

May 12, 2018, 2:25 PM · Ryan you can put the video on YouTube and post the link here.
May 12, 2018, 6:28 PM · I'll try to get on that one of these days.

I'm not the most tech-savvy person out there. I used to post videos with photobucket but that was a long time ago, and most of them weren't music related.

I have an Android phone and an Apple desktop. Can I transfer a video from the phone to the iMac?

Edited: May 13, 2018, 1:43 AM · If he wrote it, play it. Fingered octave trills are really not difficult if you practice your fingered octaves daily. As Scott noted, they are in the Tartini/Kreisler Devil's Trill cadenza. In the last movement of the Bruch Concerto #1 there are octave trills on the bottom line of the 2nd to last page (at least in the Auer edition). It's a necessary technique to learn if you want to play virtuosic violin repertoire. Also, Heifetz's left hand pizzicato was spectacular - like everything else he did on the violin.
May 13, 2018, 6:35 AM · Yes, Heifetz's left hand pizz was amazing.

Nice to hear from you, Nate!

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