Problem with a section in Bruch g minor 1st movement

Edited: May 16, 2018, 11:37 AM · Hello fellow violinists

There's a passage in the first movement of Bruch, starting from bar 98 that I just can't nail. It sounds like a tornado when I play it, my l.h. fingers and bow arm just don't cooperate and the notes are everywhere. I don't know if it is because of the bowings?

I've practiced
- with a metronome
- playing the notes just as double stops (for intonation)
- at slower tempi (although the issue gets worse the slower I play)

Any suggestion would be appreciated!

Replies (7)

Edited: May 15, 2018, 12:30 PM · To follow this discussion you may want to peek at the part. Here is Bruce Berg's edition:

https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/98892.pdf

I recommend you practice it with different bowings. It could well just be a LH-RH coordination issue and changing up the bowings will help that. Also mix up where you place accents. Sometimes on the first note, then try it with an accent on the second note, etc. Play each phrase up to tempo. But insert a gap in between each one. Then two phrases at a time. Etc.

At Measure 102 my daughter found it useful to think about putting an accent on the second note of each tie so that you're starting each group of 6 with a little kick. Her teacher wanted to hear that accent on those bottom notes, musically, anyway. The passage was suddenly much easier. If your teacher doesn't like how that sounds you can still do it mentally.

I know what my teacher would say. If I was stumbling on that passage the way you describe, he wouldn't mention the coordination issue at all. He'd ask me to bring out the musical line underneath all that bariolage, or he'd ask me to create a more interesting dynamic landscape. Suddenly when I'm less uptight about a technical issue it fades away. He does this all the time.

May 15, 2018, 4:27 PM · Is m. 98 the harmonic string crossing passage that follows the chromatic scales?
May 16, 2018, 4:27 AM · Paul, thanks! Tried practicing with accents yesterday, and it already seemed better.

Ryan, yes.

May 16, 2018, 8:50 AM · Possibly this is obvious advice, but what often helps me with passages like this is first to make sure I can play it in tune/in time detache, and then I practice the bowing on open strings, and then when I combine the bowing with the actual notes I play portato, a little exaggerated maybe, really making sure that the left hand leads.
May 16, 2018, 9:30 AM · Try lower end of the bow and articulate the ends of bows. And be conscious of the string crossings and map it to the muscle movements.

If you look at the score carefully, all the notes on the A string are at the ends of the bow. So as bad as this would sound, you'd actually have to make the bow changes OBVIOUS.

May 16, 2018, 10:58 AM · Try practicing the slurs with articulations instead of legato. Down-down-down instead of down (three notes).
Edited: May 17, 2018, 4:42 AM · Also, make sure when you do the double-stops that they are in time. Eighth-notes, bowed as in the part.
Or, if you have to make time to get it right, put the same pause before each change of bow. Make sure your left hand is confident and relaxed enough that you are only moving in the correct direction for each bow.

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