Hubay op.49 no 5 Anyone?

October 2, 2021, 7:31 PM · My new teacher has just given me a piece called Bararolle op49 no 5 by Hubayas well as some Mazas op.36. Studies. No 1,2, 3 I am doing ok with the Mazas but The Hubay seems quite hard to me towards the end of the piece. Does anyone know if this piece was ever set for any grade exam? I am planning for 5th grade ABRSM next year.

Replies (23)

October 2, 2021, 8:17 PM · Don't know about the exam grading, but as far as the end of the Hubay no.5 goes, one "trick" is to get your shifts to the high positions accomplished while you're playing the open strings.
October 3, 2021, 7:36 AM · I’m not familiar with this piece so I looked it up on IMSLP. Practice suggestions: in addition to Gene’s excellent point, play through the tricky part very slowly, separate bows, until you are sure of where the notes are and how to finger them. Then put the slurs back in but continue with slow practice, articulating the notes under the slurs (down-down-down-down-down-down instead of a six-note down bow slur). Only when you can play cleanly like that and are beginning to successfully speed up the runs do you take out the articulations and begin practicing with the printed slurs.

Make sure on every shift that you understand which finger you’re moving on and where the target is. Sometimes I ask my students to pause and announce the position they’re shifting to if that’s difficult for them. Or the interval of the shift.

Good luck!

Edited: October 4, 2021, 7:53 PM · Thank you both for the great tips !
Edited: October 3, 2021, 10:38 AM · Is this the piece? If so, very pretty.

If it's just basically high-fingerboard passages that are hard for you, don't worry, you'll get better at it, but the way to do that is to play pieces that have SOME high stuff, like this one, and, of course, three-octave scales. Having a solid approach to practicing passages (such as Mary Ellen has outlined) is essential. If you just play through stuff your progress will be much slower.

I love the Mazas Op. 36 studies. I still have my book with the dates that they were assigned to me as a child (ca. 1980). No. 4 is a great study.

October 3, 2021, 11:02 AM · When I was teaching and a student started to move higher up into the ledger lines I found if I encouraged a student to just learn one new note each day they would have an entire new octave at the next lesson.

Another useful thing to learn is the notes that can be fingered as natural harmonics - not only up high as they are (written) - but also down in the first position (the same distance from the nut as they are from the bridge, when fingered as notated).

October 3, 2021, 9:11 PM · Greetings,
as Gene has pointed out you shift on the open strings. The key word here is s’shift’ as Mary’s post also emphasizes. I think your basic problem might be that you are looking at those big intervals and seeing ‘jump’ which is what you shouldn’t do 99% of the time.
For example: 25 bars before the end you play the notes A F# D# OA OA / eflat
Finger it 13200 Since 1 stays down it becomes the guiding finger moving from a to c before you play the eflat.
Similarly, two bars later you keep the first finger down on the f so it becomes up to c# before you play the high e.
So you need to get to know the overall structure and feeling of all the actual shifting movements you make before filling in the gaps
Similarly, in the FF bar you need to have a complete grasp of what the first finger is doing before adding in the other notes.
6 bars into the FF you have an ascending scale. You practice only the first finger b-da-c#e and when you know exactly what it is doing you add the notes in between.
You can trill all of these shifts. What is meant by trilling is resting the finger lightly on the string and repeating the same shift over and over again as fast as you can while keeping it accurate. Ex: b2nd finger c# 1st finger b 2nd finger c# 1st finger.
While practicing this kind of passage in its entirety you need to hang your ears on the note prior to the shift because in your determination to make the shift it may well disappear
Practice the high passages an octave lower so that the intonation is clear in your head.
One of the problems of violin playing is that the same intervals in higher posit tins are much closer together. Thus it is a good idea to practice ascending and and descending 2 finger scales on one string to develop sensitivity to this issue. The exercise recommended by Simon Fischer in ‘The Violin Lesson’ is
a string Bflatc cd de e#F# F#G# etc 12 12 12 12 etc slurred in pairs then start on second finger 23 23 23
Another factor that will seriously affect your intonation is bow weight on a shortened string length. If you press too hard you will distort the pitch. You must pay very careful attention to what soun point you are on and never hesitate to play next to the bridge where necessary (one of the biggest weaknesses of beg-int players.
This piece is hard not because of the left hand so much. It requires very smooth, non angular bowing on every single string crossing. So , practice playing an intermediary double stop when you have to move from one string to another, then play as normal.
October 4, 2021, 5:24 AM · Thank you for all the tips i got here! Wow. There are so many kind people out here! I will try the practice steps and see how it improves in a few weeks time. At the moment, the last few lines just get me so frustrated but I will keep trying.
October 4, 2021, 5:24 AM · Thank you for all the tips i got here! Wow. There are so many kind people out here! I will try the practice steps and see how it improves in a few weeks time. At the moment, the last few lines just get me so frustrated but I will keep trying.
October 4, 2021, 7:14 AM · Hi Karen,
I think you have done well to learn a rather difficult piece aside from the last few lines, as it were. I was very interested in part of your response ‘see how it improves in a couple of weeks time.’ Do you mean that as a result of applying some of the ideas you expect it to be better ina. couple of weeks?
That’s kind of an interesting position that does crop up and it’s very understandable. however, the suggestions you got from everyone should lead to immediate improvement. If they don’t then there a number of possibilities:
1) You haven’t applied the approach correctly.
2) It is simply not the right approach for your particular issue
3) TRying too hard is getting in the way.
The important thing about practice is to isolate the problem and use some heuristic or approach to instantly improve it. if it doesn’t work, don’t keep flogging it , get more feedback (teacher role) from us and do something else.
the reason I am saying this is it seems your mindset is holding you back here as well.
Keep us posted,
October 4, 2021, 10:51 AM · Can someone confirm if the youtube I linked above is the piece Karen is playing?
October 4, 2021, 12:47 PM · What a cute little piece! The practice tips are great too. Mary Ellen--the idea of doing down, down, down for tricky slurs before eliminating any "pulse" never occurred to me. Thanks!
October 4, 2021, 7:44 PM · Yes. PAUL,that is the piece..i could not find other recording other than this version on youtube. if you come acorss other ones, i would love to know too.

And also to Stephen, thank you for your kind words too. You are right. I am certainly too frustrated.

October 4, 2021, 7:53 PM · Stephen Gene and Mary and all other teachers who has suggested practice the shifts are very useful. I also tried differrnt articulations like what you suggested down down down or even up up up. . They are helping and i can see myself improve on them. It is starting to get more secure in tune.
Edited: October 4, 2021, 10:13 PM · Greetings,
Karen, given that you have already learned the difficult bits but are getting frustrated with the end I wonder if it worth approaching things from a different direction (Just to make you more confused :)
To begin with, I often tell my Ss to practice their pieces from end to beginning rather than the more obvious direction. the reason for this is that you need up being more secure at the end and during a performance your confidence then increases rather than decreases.
OK Back to my initial suggestion. Some people may think this is too serious or high level and I do acknowledge the validity of their position but, we violinists might well do a lot better if we followed the general rule of learning a piece of music away from the instrument first, perhaps even on the piano which is what Anne Sophie Mutter does. Milstein also employed this practice at times. In order to be able to do this we need to acquire rudimentary singing ability externally which we then transfer to inside our heads.
This latter may seem obvious but when you think about it it is the essence of what violin playing is: the physical rendition of a work according to the tone /interpretation specific to your unique personality lurking in your mind. (That’s why we need to fill our mind with sounds by listening to tons of other great violinists)
The struggle that seems to be stressing me out appears to me a little like you may be bypassing this procedure and fighting to get each note right instead of letting the sound in your head lead you to where you need to be. We nerdy people (well me anyway) are , of course, feeding this habit by providing you with more and more nifty ways of misleading yourself.
So, why don’t you take a step back and reevaluate the whole thing. Can you sing it in your head? Can you play it on the piano, or ukulele for that matter? Then, can you visualize your self playing t beautifully on stage in front of an audience?’ If you can do this last thing then you could do this before you go to sleep every night. This kind of visualization training is at the core of most sports training and ignored by most violinists for some reason…
Hope this gives you pause/paws for thought,
October 6, 2021, 9:47 AM · I knew Mendelssohn had visited Staffa, where Fingal's Cave is (to be inspired to write Fingal's Cave), but I never knew that Hubay had visited Barra (to be inspired to write Bararolle).
October 6, 2021, 11:27 AM · Looking at the piece on IMSLP, i.e. on the first edition I find some interesting fingerings. If I didn't miss something there isn't a single instance of the second position even though plenty of passages have the look of requiring it.

Secondly: Do you think the numerous harmonics (and open strings) are there for musical reasons?* The very first note is a (natural) harmonic. If there were no fingerings I would play that A in fourth position**. The same A appears a number of times in the following measures, marked as a harmonic every time. Is this somehow musically motivated or does it reflect Hubay's judgement of the technical ability of the people these pieces are evidently written for (upper middle class people who made "Hausmusik")?

* Are the fingerings even by the composer? My guess would be yes, since he was a virtuoso himself but who knows?

** BTW I don't think there is an instance of fourth position in the whole piece either.

P.S. As in all fingered editions there are instances where fingerings are missing, usually where decisions are complicated, most notably in measure 17 (first measure of the fourth line in the violin part). That a#: 1 or 4? Or (as I would) second position)?

October 6, 2021, 12:07 PM · yes Albrecht, very typical of these old editions. you do see a second position fingering once in a while in these old editions, but very rarely. in general I find it pretty meaningless for editions, old or recent, to indicate fingerings, except in etudes of course where the particular fingering may be part of the exercise.
Edited: October 6, 2021, 4:32 PM · I am mostly just wondering about the naturals. Are they just for ease of playing or is there musical intention? I can't see any musical sense myself with the exception of the three final notes. But I keep wondering.

And BTW John: Hubay did not visit Barra, he visited Barca.

Edited: October 7, 2021, 10:30 AM · I use an edition where quite a few bits in the piece are in 2nd position and 4th. In fact 1 to 5th are all there in the first page already
October 7, 2021, 2:37 PM · Good for you. the IMSLP version is horrible…:)
October 7, 2021, 2:37 PM · Good for you. the IMSLP version is horrible…:)
October 7, 2021, 4:37 PM · Horrible it may be but it is the first edition, the one presumably proof read and accepted by the composer. It shows how standards have changed since Hubay's time.
October 7, 2021, 10:21 PM · greetings,
i found the following comment on the Naxos website /page about Hubay:
‘Often described as the father of modern Hungarian violin playing, Jeno Hubay had a cosmopolitan training, spanning both the German and Franco-Belgian schools of violin playing. He began lessons with his father Karl (Károly) Huber (1828–1885), w’
Not sure how well it stands up to scrutiny…

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