Hi all, my teacher just introduced to me the concept of continuous and vibrato, and I have a few questions pertaining to this:
1. How does one develop a reliable continuous vibrato? Are there any particular exercises that can be recommended?
2. The context in which my teacher introduced continuous vibrato was Mozart 5 (the Adagio section), but I was wondering if it was appropriate seeing that a majority of recordings by various soloists did not feature this.
3. I noticed that continuous vibrato was used mainly by the great old school violinists like Heifetz, Oistrakh etc. On the other hand, its usage among younger violinists is a rarity nowadays. Does it mean that continuous vibrato is obsolete in any way?
Thanks a lot!
Just practise with vibrato and it will come on its own.
It is not obsolete. Just an artistic choice whether it's applicable on any given work and phrase within it.
Ah, continuous vibrato. An early twentieth century devise considered by nearly all before to be quite vulgar, not just those in the Baroque. I am reminded that Brahms preferred Joachim to perform his concerto, not simply owing to friendship, but owing to his restrained use of vibrato. Zuckerman et al. always emphasize "vibrating on every note," and one wonders what a Beriot, a Vieuxtemps, or a Viotti would have said in reply or disgust.
The entry about vibrato near the end of this link is as close to a good, brief science-based description of how and why vibrato "works" as I have seen:
Continuous vibrato is an artistic option, not usually appropriate for early music, but that Adagio in Mozart 5 is a good place to use it. Andrew is right; don't vibrate on notes going by at about the same speed, or higher, than your vibrato, 5-6 /sec. If there isn't a full cycle, those notes will sound bent. How to learn it?- two suggestions. On a scale, slow, long tones, put rests between the notes, start the vibrato before the note, then continue, follow-through, the vibrato after the note. 2) Synchronize the change of notes with the vibrato; drop a higher number finger in when the vibrato is moving up. Likewise move to a lower note when the vibrato is moving low. It's easier to demonstrate than describe. Hope that makes sense.
I find that in fast passages there is no time for vibrato, but that the finger-falls initiate a slight quiver without affecting the perceived pitch. The hand is ready to vibrate at any time. Or not..