Do orchestral players play triple stops as they are or divisi?
I was wondering if orchestra players play triple (and quadruple stops) divisi most of the time?
In particular, should the chords in the fast section of the 4th movement of Tchaik Symphony No. 5 be played as it is divisi? I'm asking because my section leader plays the full chords!
The good players who you can count on to always be in tune play divisi. The hotheads play the full chords.
An important point to be taken into consideration is the standard of the orchestra. A car crash can loom with some community orchestras if they don't do divisi!
Depends on the context and on what the conductor and/or concertmaster is asking for.
It depends on the music. There's some Sibelius with simple octaves which I shall play until told not to.
Thanks all for your replies!
Agreed that barn dance stuff with fifths is silly to play divisi.
Oh, this drives me crazy! In almost every youth group I conduct, this is probably the most-addressed concept next to playing on the right part of the bow.
I swear, recording engineers can hear grass grow.
I'm finding conductors willing more often than before to do non-divisi for 3 and 4-stops. Generally at the end of movements, though, or in--say-- Beethoven, where one can argue about the nature of the string section's sound.
Concertmaster solos by Rimsky-Korsakoff and Strauss have triple and quadruple stops. If you are a section player, you can hide behind divisi most of the time.
In my community orchestra the rule is divisi unless it's open strings, and regardless whether the music says "non-divisi." The only time we have problems is when there are more than two notes, because we are only two violists. In that case we divide according to whatever makes the easiest double stops. There was some piece by Respighi or something where my stand partner played the top and bottom notes (the intervals were sixths) and I took the middle! But honestly most of the time one of the notes (especially with viola parts) one of the notes is usually doubling the cellos so you can just skip it. Nobody will notice.
Divisi unless otherwise stated. It's not a community orchestra cheat. Cotton and Mary Ellen have both nailed it.
I meant that leaving out notes you can't play in tune, when divisi is not possible because there are two violists and four notes, is a community-orchestra cheat. I realize the problem of two violists and four notes to play does not come up very often. :)
Divisi unless otherwise stated. (When I am bowing parts, I almost always write in specifically what I want.) Triple or quadruple stops with an open string on the bottom or the bottom two notes may sometimes be nondivisi for the purposes of sound. (And there should always be an section leader's indication if a triple/quadruple-stop should be broken, rolled, or played with as little audible break as possible.)
The experienced players here are correct.
On a side note could I ask if chords in orchestral auditions should be played divisi or together, specifically the double and triple stops in Beethoven 3rd Symphony. There are some really tricky octaves and chords!
In an orchestral audition, play as you would play in the section—i.e. top line only on most chords except for those which would obviously be played unison (triple stops at the end of a movement for example). Playing double stops where we normally divide tells the committee that you are either inexperienced or a show off, possibly both. And odds are that your intonation will be compromised as well.
When I was in my youth orchestra, conductor always got us to do divisi no matter how simple the interval