Salieri La Folia variations fingerings

Edited: January 12, 2022, 5:05 AM · Hi all,
My community orchestra will be performing the Salieri 26 Variations on "La Folia di Spagna" IMSLP link, and I'll be the concertmaster (my first solos as concertmaster).

The various solos all seem to make sense to me fingering wise, however I'm struggling to work out something for Variation 19 (bar 305).

Just wondering if anyone has any tips and/or previous fingerings they have used to help me out?

Replies (4)

Edited: January 12, 2022, 6:15 AM · That's a nice opportunity Ben! For that passage (which I just looked at now) I don't see any regularities, like you typically have in such passages. So I'd just finger them ad-hoc, just what is easiest for you, without much concern on which string which note should be played in this case. You'll have to do quite some string skipping, which is a useful technique anyway. You can probably also take a bit of liberty in the tempo, slow down here and there? The main challenge will be actually in the bowing because it seems to be different (up-bow or down-bow on different strings, different strings to skip, etc) in almost each of the groups. So no automatic pilot to go on... (Edit: I see you are a professional violinist, so please ignore my amateuristic advice however well-intentioned it was, anyway I'm sure you'll pull it off!)
January 12, 2022, 11:41 AM · Amateur here too, so take it with a grain of salt. I would consider a tempo below 1/4 = 80 (I don't think this figure is by Salieri). The second half of the passage contains grace notes (insets of three per 1/16). If those grace notes are to be understood I think one needs to play more slowly. The second thing I'd try to do ifI I had to learn the part: I would make maximum use of open strings to facilitate shifts/string crossings (luckily the key allows for all four strings to be open).

BTW there is a recording of the piece somewhere on youtube; one might compare tempi and other details.

Edited: January 12, 2022, 8:31 PM · 1. Set your hand frame for each beat such that you don't need to move to a new tetrachord much more than once every four notes.

2. Move on the open strings.

It's a fun piece, will the performance be recorded?

EDIT: I read through the work with my Symphony tonight--it's kind of amazing at the back half where the violas and basses double everything and the cellos just sit there. :P

Edited: January 16, 2022, 10:20 AM · I agree with Albrecht that the tempo in the score is not by Salieri (1750-1825), basically because The Variations were composed in 1815 and published in 1816, and the mechanical metronome we know and love today (!) was patented by Johann Mälzel in 1815. It is inherently unlikely to my mind that Salieri in 1815/16 would have come across Mälzel's invention in those couple of years.

When playing violin music of that period it is worth considering an important aspect of the setup of the instruments used - all gut strings, including the E. This would have affected the bowing and fingering in a different manner to that of today's higher tension synthetics, together with the modern tendency, I suspect, to play music of that period a little faster than would have perhaps been the composers' intentions.

A quick search in YouTube reveals several recordings of this piece, one of which is by the London Mozart Players:

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