Up and down bow staccato
I was informed at one point by a Heifetz pupil that Jascha Heifetz asked Eugene Fodor to demonstrate this difficult bowstroke because he (Heiftz) was not so good at it (especially down bow) and wanted to figure out how Fodor did it.
Opinions? And do you have a method of teaching it?
My upbow staccato is adequate at best; my downbow staccato is nonexistent. I have made it through 36 years (and counting) of a reasonably successful professional career without ever needing to use either stroke even once.
Mary Ellen, you're in great company based on the OP!
Contrary to the "stiff arm" stroke described by Heifetz in The Way They Play, I manage (on viola) a smooth forearm stroke plus a wrist vibrato, up and down bows. Not as fast or as neat as Heifetz though!
All I can humbly offer is that, for me, there are some similarities with vibrato, in that you do a movement that is faster than you can really consciously control, it has a "nervous" or "subconscious" aspect to it. But that does not even qualify as an answer to Bruce's question, my apologies.
I was doing the Schubert allegro vivace with up-bow staccato, but my teacher said don't bother unless you need it for bow distribution. I was surprised and not quite 100% convinced.
I had a staccato when I was young, but I've lost it as I've gotten older. In some staccato passages, I just do what two of my heroes, Nathan Milstein and Aaron Rosand, do. Play spiccato instead.
Alexander, I did the same in the third movement of the Sibelius when I performed it 30 years ago, on the suggestion of the concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony with whom I was getting coaching at the time.
My last faculty recital was cancelled because of the virus. I had programmed the Dinicu Hora Staccato. The only way I can do the down-bow staccato is to hold the bow upside-down. For the up-bow staccato take the 3rd and 4th fingers off the stick and stay in the upper half. I call the "stutter" effect, a ratcheting effect. Or like the "motor-boat" glottal stop.
My link to Heifetz was for entertainment rather than instruction, which was the point of the OP, so Andrew's link is excellent. (there's at least one other of Heifetz playing it, unless it's an excerpt from Andrew's link). I suspect we all find our own way of holding the bow for downbow staccato, but it's nice to see confirmation that it's the right thing to do.
come on Gordon you know what that teacher will then reply!
Heifetz was also filmed playing Hora Staccato in the 1939 Hollywood movie "They Shall Have Music," the first theater movie I ever saw. I still remember turning to my father and asking "Is that a real man?"
My conclusion: If something is too hard even for Heifetz I won't begin to try it.
You mean upbow usually?
If Nate Robinson ever sees this thread he might be able to offer some insights... He has a clip on YouTube demonstrating some excellent downbow staccato. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df04_9IorZs&ab_channel=NathanielRobinson
Albrecht - The answer to your question is that the Kreutzer 4 upbow staccato is not the same stroke that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century and is being talked about above. This off the string, percussive noise would have been completely alien to the violinist at the end of the 18th and turn of the 19th Century when these methods were being compiled. Baillot describes the stroke in question as a ringing and sonorous stroke. All violinists in this period were still in the shadow of Tartini who famously wrote 'Per ben suonare bisogna be cantare'. The modern upbow staccato does not sing, so would have been no interest to the likes of Kreutzer, Rode Baillot etc. To be specific, Kreutzer 4 would have been intended to be much more on the string and with a ringing sonority.
When I was a small child my teacher demonstrated upbow staccato to me and I thought it was nifty so I went home and worked it out for myself and I got really good at it. Alas ... that was then, when I had more brain cells.