Bruch Practice Update

Edited: July 14, 2023, 9:36 AM · Dear all, I am sorry that I have to start a new thread. The previous one seems to be achived and I can not update on that thread.

For those that took their time to comment and advice on my playing, I am sorry that I took such a long time to get back on my progress, there was always one thing after another, one excuse after another :(

I am now working on the 3rd movement, as well as Bach Sonata 1 (in between, finished performing Wagner's Die Meistersinger with the orchestra and now working on Mendelssohn's Bartholdy)...

You have helped me a lot the last time I posted my piece, so feel free to comment.

Replies (4)

July 14, 2023, 10:03 AM · Great job, Liam!
July 14, 2023, 10:26 AM · Wow, great violin-playing Liam.

Your implementation of the "fake vibrato" on the first note of the piece is about the most effective use of this device that I have ever heard. However I would not allow that note to trail off quite as much as you did. I think you might have even lost bow contact at the end of it.

At 0:33 those are are F#'s, right? They sound a little low to me, you may have to move your fingers back and forth to allow the stops to be sufficiently close together especially considering the F# is a leading tone. Your C#'s at 4:20 were executed better.

At the recap at 4:20 can the new/special articulation of the broken arpeggio be more clear?

At 1:40 I recommend you avoid the tendency to sway along with your lyrical phrasing. It's as though your violin is chasing your bow toward the right when you pull downbow and then to the left when you pull upbow which is actually contrary to what seems natural to me. At 2:10 you are also swaying with your whole-bow trills but in the opposite direction. You don't have to be wooden, but with less gratuitous body movement your balance and every part of your playing will improve.

At 1:52 your portamento into the C is sweet -- but I'm guessing that's about the limit of what judges will tolerate. At 2:50 it sounds excessive, like you undershot your shift a little and had to keep going.

At 2:40 there is a phrase Bb-F-A-G-F in the high register. Keep your sound point closer to the bridge, I think you were running out of bow for the G and you want to sustain that phrase.

I'm being picky here because your playing is really quite good.

At 3:07 there is a fifth Eb-Bb that sounds plenty long enough to have some vibrato, but you've applied none. I realize fifths are hard to tune. Likewise at 3:22 you're selective about which intervals get vibrato when they're all the same duration. Here it's a harder challenge.

At 3:42 I would not emphasis the four-note sub-phrases in the chromatic scale as much as you did. The question is whether you're making a musical or practical choice.

I'm very impressed with your playing and a little disappointed that you didn't take your Suzuki bow at the end! Congratulations and keep up the great work.

July 15, 2023, 12:56 AM · Hi Liam,
you have made subtantial improvements since the last video. Very well done indeed!
The top f# is horribly flat. You do need to correct that urgently as it seems very ingrained.
I thinkthe next stage you need to work on is choppyness or uneveness. I sometimes feel you are confusing hitting the violin with intensity as intense. Actually it tens to just sound like someone hitting the violin. It's not a good sound and it gets aggravating very qickly. It always feels like one is being passionate when one is doing this but it's actually more like biting someone ear as a romantic prelude. It's kind of a hard concept but the Bruch grows organically from the first note as though life is first forming. It a beautiful and mysterious thingsthat comes out of primeaval soup. But there is little of no organic connection between that and the 2nd entry eflat which you just hit like there is no tommorow and be damned. Lisen to Gitlis, bell, or Heifetz play that note. Do they do a massive accent and then disappear the sound. Nope. It's profoundly intense but clearly a 2nd version of the original 'G' protolife form.
Your playing is characterized by two kind sof uneveness apart fro this tendency to hit the violin. One is on off vibrato which is not musical. It just makes your sound hot then cold then hot for no reason. The second is that you continually accent the end of notes bty increasing your bow speed. This needs sme serious work with a metronome, subdividing the bow until it is under control. For now you could go through your video and try to identify every time you do this. You might be surprised. It is one of yourworst habits and its distracting from yourgenuine musical ideas.
Pretty strong comments I suppose but you have iimproved soo much I think you can really bump up your level.
July 15, 2023, 5:41 AM · just to complement Buri's comment about the "hitting" the violin: it is much better to start intense attacks *on* the string with a "bite".

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