Anyone played this? (looking for advice)

August 20, 2019, 12:56 AM · If some of you remember from my deleted post, my teacher want's me to play the Mendelssohn concerto mvt 1 for the upcoming USOMC competition (February or March 2020). After I finished Rode concerto #7, I began working on Viotti #22 Mvt 1. I should be done with this in a few weeks, and after that, I'll be working on Spohr concerto #2, after which/concurrently I will begin work on Mendelssohn.

Until I did some research, I had never heard of Spohr, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice, if anyone here has played Spohr 2, or if anyone had any thoughts on this progression of pieces. Thanks!

On a side note, does anyone have any advice for how to improve my tone while playing passages in 3rds? I know about how to tune them and tune the undertones to open strings and such, and I'm good with vibrato, so I'm just wondering about bowing.

Replies (4)

August 20, 2019, 4:10 PM · - Don't press twice as hard!
- Let the higher string determine the bow weight, stroke length, and contact point.
August 20, 2019, 8:56 PM · Mendelsssohn is quite a jump from your other pieces, in my opinion.

For double stops, be very careful that your bow is on the correct level for the two strings being played. Absolutely do not press harder. In fact, don't press at all. Use arm weight.

Edited: August 20, 2019, 10:25 PM · I agree with Mary Ellen. My current piece is Viotti No. 22 first movement and it's hard but within my grasp. I have worked on Spohr No. 2 in the past, and it's a nice piece but the first movement is, what, four pages, and the hardest part is like four measures of tenths. On the other hand Mendelssohn is entirely beyond my grasp, almost certainly forevermore. You do Mendelssohn after you have done Mozart 4 (or 5), Bruch No. 1, and probably Saint-Saens No. 3. I have not done any of those although I worked on Mozart 5 for a while (damn thing is HARD).

I agree with Mary Ellen in principle about tone for the thirds. That's hard for me too and I know what passage you're talking about in the Viotti. Very often with double stops, there is a tendency to use an insufficient amount of bow because when you draw the bow it's hard to stay on the same "plane" and maintain contact with both strings. So you compensate by using less bow and pushing down with your index finger. Play just the lower notes and forget intonation for a moment -- concentrate on tone. How are you drawing the bow to get the best tone for just single stops? How much bow are you using? You may need to apply a little more energy for a double stop because you're vibrating two strings, but not as much more as you think.

By the way there is a terrific YouTube of the Viotti No. 2 (whole concerto) with Lola Bobesco. I recommend it. No video -- you watch the score.

August 21, 2019, 5:09 AM · Aidan, I don't know whether this came up in your researches on Spohr, but Spohr, who was a famous violin teacher of his time, invented the chin rest in about 1820, thereby ensuring a lucrative after-market for one particular violin accessory for centuries to come ;)

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