Fast arpeggios in Saint-Saens Concerto (Fast Arpeggios in General)
Hey all! I'm currently working on the first movement of the Saint-Saens Concerto no. 3, and I'm having trouble with the fast arpeggios at the bottom of the first page. The notes figured out when playing slow, and when I group the notes together to work up speed, everything sounds great. The problem is the shifts. The edition that I'm using has a 1st finger to first finger shift and then a 3rd finger to 3rd finger shift at a later part. The exact fingering of it I guess doesn't matter. My question is how to work up speed with these shifts so that they don't sound like a big shmear? (This could apply to any arpeggio which is why I say that the exact fingering doesn't matter) Thanks for the help.
You should experiment at a slower tempo with the speed of your shift. You can shift faster between notes, which means starting the shift later, and you might try aiming for shifting at the last moment, which means you will have to play around the timing of the start of the shift. You may also be pressing too much during the shift, and not lightening your finger to the minimum pressure needed. Faster doesn't mean aggressive, so fast shifts still need to be really relaxed.
I definitely agree with working daily on regular arpeggio series like in the Flesch book -- these are critical for this piece and many others. Make sure you work through all of them as even the diminished ones pop up a lot.
hi Brock, I have this fingering. in general the one-octave arpeggios on a single string, as you can find in Sevcik or in Flesch should be in your fingers. of course this passage is more than one octave, so we have to do an extra shift.
Relax your right hand, particularly bow grip for a start.
In such situations I play the c sharp (second note) with the third finger to avoid the "glissando" (if assuming third position ahead of time is not possible or not desirable).
That spot: 1) if you are doing the 1-1 shift to A#, be aware that the interval distance is a major third, you are not going to regular 3rd position, but a half-step higher. 2) in general, shifts that exchange fingers are safer, more accurate than shifts on the same finger because you are releasing the hand instead digging into the fingerboard. 3) suggested fingering, that might be too clever for real-time performance; move to second position somewhere in the previous measure, like 1st finger on the G#. The 4th finger B will sound a little weak. Then , starting on the low A#: 3-1-2-3-1-2(or3)-4- then go down the same way you went up. Stay in that high 2nd position to finish off the run. It is technically just a F# dom. 7th arpeggio, but the printed fingerings in your scale books probably won't help.
Joel, I always find your comments very instructive, but the G# in the previous measure you mention is a G natural ;-)
Oops, my error,--I need new glasses. jq
It might help if you, during practice, held the C# before the downshift a little longer. Or put an accent on it. The slurp might be coming from starting the downshift too early, and not giving the C# enough time to sound properly.