HAYDN - Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, finding violin part challenging
Please tell me the violin part in this gorgeous trio is more difficult than much Hayden chamber music! I will be playing this with a new pick-up chamber group and I'm struggling with it, the fast pace of the last movement, the m any quick shifts and so on. I am a returner around Suzuki level 5/6 if one can identify that way and i'm very excited to have this new group (well it includes my father on cello and we play together often, but a new pianist) and i don't want to mess it up. Any practicing advice or just validation that its not so easy much welcome! I have a teacher but we are doing other work and I don't have a lesson before the chamber session. Thanks in advance
The "Gypsy Rondo " one?
Karen, great and fun piece, playing anything clean and nicely sounding on the violin is challenging, this piece is certainly no exception. Referring to the last movement, where are these many quick shifts you mention? Because that movement is played entirely in first position except for the F#A and GB double stops. Since you asked for a practice tip: Sevcik opus 1 book 1 exercises 1 through 13. Just a little bit every day. And run them by your teacher from time to time to check if you do them correctly (left hand position).
Hi Karen, I performed this piece a few weeks ago with a trio that was formed under a new program at the local university (where I also teach). We had coaching from the university faculty -- excellent pros. It's a pretty piece. Honestly I found the first movement more difficult (and rewarding) than the third. In the end we didn't perform the third movement at all (long story).
Yes the "Gypsy Rondo" one! Thanks so much for this input and support! Yes the third movement is the crazy pace but the first and second movements have many shifts and then the 4sharps and I agree the 1st is harder but more interesting. I'm very happy to hear you all think the (fantastic) youtube performances are on the super fast side, I would say especially the 3rd movement. I have about 8 hours to practice beween now and Tuesday when we're playing. I'm combining slow practice for the tough parts with speed practice overall. The vcom threads on practicing a piece in limited time were helpful too. Thanks Andrew for the tip about very little bow. I noticed that dramatically in the youtube clip this morning. Thanks Paul re head up re the difficulty with violin-piano alignment. My father and i have gone through it a few times as a duet (as we have easy access to each other) and that works fine but i can see the challenges ahead. I have tried the 1st movement with earbuds to youtube to get a sense of it. I will look up the Sevcik, Jean, thanks. My teacher has me using the Whistler books for positions/shfiting, is that equivalent?
Haydn had one excellent violinist in his house orchestra at Esterhazy. Consequently his 1st violin parts in the quartets and symphonies are technically harder than Mozart.
Yes, Haydn violin parts are never easy and can be very demanding -- quartets especially. The 1st violin parts are often downright virtuosic -- even in early quartet sets like op. 17 and 27.
Karen, to answer your question, Sevcik opus 1 is a huge collection of technical exercises on just about everything. Book 1 however is all in first position, I suggested that because in your original post you especially mentioned the last movement which is entirely in first position (which does not mean at all that it is easy). Those exercises 1 to 13 are mainly scales and broken thirds which is essentially what all the fast runs are composed of in that last movement.
Ahh OK thanks Jean!
As noted, Haydn 1st violin parts are often quite hard, although the 2nd violin parts of the quartets are often fairly easy. Mozart trios will probably be easier for violin, in the general case.
Well Lydia maybe that explains why I thought Hayden chamber music was easy, from playing second violin in a Hayden trio recently. I'm feeling some progress, less freaked out, practicing the tough parts today. I'll look at Mozart trios.
There is one "virtuosic" section in the first movement -- you know the one. That's one where an extra 5 minutes spent optimizing the fingerings would be good. If you are reading from an urtext with no fingerings, for goodness' sake find an edition with fingerings on IMSLP.
Thank you so very much for these practice tips! I will report back!
Having worked on and performed (in a modest setting) both Haydn and Mozart trios (G-Major "Gipsy" and C-Major K548 respectively) I have to say that the violin part in the Mozart is definitely harder than in the Haydn. I do agree with the assessment that the first movement (of Haydn) is the hardest.
Thank you for this Albrecht. I woke up this morning humming the slow movement. At first for me it was just a struggle with the key and the shifts and then yesterday I could start to feel the beauty of it. Great advice re the rondo.
I agree with everything Albrecht wrote about the second movement. It is a gleaming gem of the chamber literature. The section where the violin has C#-D-C# ... that line just opens up like clear blue sky. Think about how to apply vibrato and I agree with Albrecht that everything will go better if you do not play this too slowly. The pianist can help also by keeping the bass figure more interesting with some rolling dynamics.
Thank you all for your thoughts and practicing tips re this piece. I’m reporting back that we played together for the first time today and it was so much fun! I was able to pull it off without too many mistakes or wild notes, enough so that the pianist wants to keep getting together and working on it, as my father and I do too. He's a very proficient musician but ederly now and not playing as much as he'd like. My father and I feel lucky he is into doing this with us! He asked if i'm working on any sonatas and he would be happy to do the piano part for. Fun! The slow movement is beautiful with the piano, and, just as you say Paul that line opens up and sings. We worked on that a few times over. It swells and recedes so nicely. The pianist picked up the pace of the last movement somehow and I was practically bouncing off my chair to keep up but that was fun too.
That third movement actually has a few left-hand pizzicato notes, which is really what makes it legitimate violin music. Sadly Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms never caught on to the critical necessity of incorporating this virtuosic musical element. It took the unbridled genius of composers like Pablo Sarasate to establish this fundamental truth.
I just listened to it Paul its beautiful. I hope to find more people for chamber music over time. We're just moving to live part time near my father and there is a big music community here. My motivation for restarting lessons this year was to be good enough for chamber groups.
I've found chamber music, even Haydn and Mozart, to be pretty difficult. The demands for clean articulation, even phrasing, and intonation are severe. And some of it is really fast. That said, my goal is the same as yours -- I want to improve to the point where I can actually play at least some of it.
A good trio to work on after this one is Beethoven op. 11 - beautiful piece and not so insanely difficult in the piano part as a lot of later works tend to be. Also Three Nocturnes by Ernest Bloch if you're into something modern.
Great recommendation Stan i listened to the Beethoven and it sounds quite do-able for my father and my level and i'm sure for the pianist. I played lots of chamber music in my first violin life - as a teenager i went to Apple Hill i think it was for the whole summer. I loved it. As a returner after a 50 year break I'm just getting there but not where i was yet.
Schubert's First Trio D898 is very special as well. Have never played it, but love listening to it!
The Schubert is beautiful but i think the violin part is beyond me at this time. Something to aspire to!