Wieniawski 2 Mvt 3

Edited: July 12, 2020, 8:28 PM · I have seen some YouTube videos of people playing a lovely Wieniawski Concerto No. 2 Mvt 3 completely on the string. (Exampale- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvMB8aR9hCY)

If I were to play this movement on the string for an audition, would I be marked off points in the articulation category, or would this be acceptable? I want to play this in a few (in person) auditions, but nerves tend to get the best of me and I tend to fumble up spiccato sections when I get nervous. I would much rather play it safe and go on the string like in the video linked above, but would that be considered stylistically acceptable or would it hurt my score?

Replies (8)

July 12, 2020, 4:53 PM · He's not playing it on the string. You can both see and hear that in the video. He's doing the common stroke here, which is a sautille -- at full tempo the bow will simply come off the string. You don't need to try to make it bounce. If you're relaxed it will happen by itself.
Edited: July 12, 2020, 5:42 PM · Lydia beat me to it. He’s definitely not playing on the string.

The fact that you ask this question though suggests to me that your concept of sautille (or spiccato) is too high off the string. If that’s the case, it would explain the problems you describe. You do not need to see daylight between the bow and the string in order to play off the string.

July 12, 2020, 6:57 PM · Sometimes people say that with sautille, "the stick bounces but the hair does not". I feel like I usually get actual clearance with sautille, but it's not much distance above the string; if you've got a lot of air time, you're not playing fast enough.

Honestly, if you play this piece at the bare minimum audition-acceptable tempo (let alone a full normal performance tempo), you won't be able to keep it on the string. The bow will leave the string of its own volition.

Edited: July 13, 2020, 12:23 AM · I've seen different treatises make different distinctions between spicatto and sautille (or not making those distinctions), and I think Mary Ellen and Lydia covered it pretty well, but one of the main distinctions I see is that spiccato is thought of as a thrown stroke that essentially comes FROM off the string, and that sautille is a stroke that arises FROM on the string, like a detache without the weight, and at a certain speed.

I think the example you posted is a fine standard to aim for, and is sufficiently articulated. I would focus on the sound you are trying to achieve. I noticed that the player in the video you posted seems to have put some tape as a guide on the stick to be able to focus on, which would correlate to where on the stick he wants to stay for his bow stroke.

Edited: July 12, 2020, 10:41 PM · Good eye. Boy, it sure looks like that's a marking tape for the sautille point, isn't it? I've never seen a tape like that on the bow of a student this advanced. I wonder what the story on that is.
July 12, 2020, 10:45 PM · I bet it was more of a psychological trick than anything, and judging by his performance, I guess worked! If you check out his current videos (that one looks to be like 9 years old), he's turned into a great violinist.
July 13, 2020, 12:58 AM · I read that he started violin as a second grader in a string class at school. So this was 3-4 years after he started learning and possibly 2-3 after he started private lessons? It has been really interesting to watch him develop over the years on YouTube.
July 13, 2020, 9:05 AM · Agree with the others -- this piece must be played sautille. In fact, for most of the kids I know, this was the piece they used to truly master sautille because it just won't work with any other bowstroke.

I'm a huge fan of Nathan Meltzer, who, incidentally, is now extremely tall!


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