Question about the first note in Bruch nº 1 violin concerto
I've watched this performance of Mr. Perlman, and I've noticed that in the first note (a G in the G string), he is also vibrating a G in the D string, minute 1:10.
Try it. By vibrating the G (3rd finger in 1st position) on the D string, you can put a little bit of vibrato onto the open string, because of the sympathetic vibration between the notes. I'd be curious to hear the technical explanation, but you should be able to hear the difference on your own. It's the only way to vibrate on the open G.
My personal opinion is that vibrating an open G sounds bad. The vibrato sounds totally different from a normal vibrated note. I never do it.
IMHO, that note should never be vibrated. I mean in this piece of music. By vibrating this open G you lose all,the magic at the start of the piece.
Ahh, the old argument (see Flesch,) is vibrato an effect or a color, a part of the sound? Is the real instrument the voice and are instrumentalists vocal or not?
To make it clear:
It does work, though - if you play only the open G string, while vibrating on the G an octave higher, it will produce a vibrato like effect. Also works on the other open strings - give it a try. I highly doubt Perlman is playing (ie making it sound with the bow) the higher G at all.
What you probably get from that trick is a little amplitude-vibrato, not a pitch vibrato- moving in and out of resonance, sympathetic vibration. I always thought it looked a little silly, compared to an elegant plain, open G. Besides, you don't want to start that phrase full-blast, it has a long implied crescendo. jq
I also think this "octave" vibrato trick sounds weird and is seldom useful, least of all in the opening of the Bruch. Bruch knew what he was writing when he wrote a long note that would be played on an open string.
Heifetz uses it too, who are we to argue with the master (and I think the note sounds a bit monotonous if played straight the whole duration-you can only alter the sound of an open string so much). :)
One possibility is that pros like Perlman and Heifetz have realized long ago that it's impossible to tune one's violin
But they also vibrate unisons with an open string in them (which does seem fine).
To All and Nicolas Temino ~
Perhaps I need to try the passage on a better violin, as I have just remembered thar I have only played this passage on an intermediate level instrument (where the G string of course left something to be desired). :)
also my feelings go to Manchester.
But, the very beginning when you shift up to the D and hold it is LESS somber than the rest of the piece IMHO.
Tim, I guess I don't understand your response. I'm not arguing anything theoretical here. I took a few years of physics in college, and I don't quite understand why this works. Perhaps you are applying the vibrato to the sympathetic vibration that would otherwise be occurring an octave up from your bowed note, I don't know.
You can most definitely vibrato open G. Bring your finger to the end of the string, by the nut, and vibrato over the contact point with finger vibrato
To A.O. ~
Yeah, I know, Christian, I was simply trying to explain why you can't induce a vibrato effect in the open G by doing vibrato at the resonated G in the D string. I think I am right when I say that. I'll do it with numbers (no decimals and approx), tuned to A440:
@Dear Ms. Matesky: with all due respect, I read all of the post (thank you for the response!).
Yes, you have to dodge the wolf tones on your instrument.
@ Elizabeth Matesky. I have tracked down an accessible recording of Milstein playing Bruch #1 with the Philharmonia Orchestra (the conductor and date weren't available, unfortunately).
Wonderful price, almost a joke.
Well, well!! At last a jq sane voice just above! With all due respect, dear A.O., please know I have not & will never forget the challenges of navigating on an 'inferior' instrument and I truly mean this ~ Just because one was blessed to own some grand violins & play a truly Great one which was owned by my close friend & out of this world, Violinist/Mentor, Nathan Milstein, (who loved swapping fiddles playing a del Gesu I had for nearly a decade & recorded quite a few Masterworks on), does not erase early stark memories of playing upon what you term 'inferior' fiddles ...
To Trevor Jennings of Canada ~
@Ms. Matesky: Thank you, I was not literally saying that a bad instrument cannot made to sound good or that one wolf is an issue, but it is usually worth more effort than anybody would ever want to use to play through 5-6 wolf notes/a poor fiddle. :)
Also, as far as I know, Trevor Jennings is English. :)
Yes, I can confirm that I am British and living in England.
"I have tracked down an accessible recording of Milstein playing Bruch #1 with the Philharmonia Orchestra (the conductor and date weren't available, unfortunately)."
I've come to the conclusion that compulsively vibrating open strings is dorky.
Can you guys try out what I said 2 posts of mine before and tell me if you hear the same effect?
Tim: "I think I've tested myself this some hours ago and came to the conclusion that yeah, you can make the open G do vibrato by doing vibrato in the B of the A string for example."
I'll check it out, Tim. Reading back my previous post came out a little aggressive. I could see the physical mechanism not being the one that would most often get posited, as violin is not immune from cargo cults.
Oh, don't worry Christian, I didn't feel that your message was aggressive in any way. It's just this communication method, sure internet is fast and very open, but the way of communication is so poor compared to real life face to face communication.
"So Perlman and Bell et al are all dorks?!?"
I think Jim Hoyle too... what a dork! :p
We don't all disagree with Scott. I agree with Scott. I think if you're going to vibrate an open string you should have a musical reason. Maybe Perlman and Bell have their reasons. I strongly suspect, however, that a lot of open-string vibrato *is* compulsive -- people do it just because they can.
@Paul: I dunno about others, for me personally it seems as though the open G crescendo was not prominent enough in volume or tonal variation unless the musical line is interrupted by taking two bows for the note, so amplitude vibrato seems the only realistic way to make the crescendo at least seem bigger to the ears (barring playing close to bridge, but this is a bit too harsh of a sound for Bruch, even on a wound gut). :)
Okay, after trying out the B on the A string with open G, I don't think it does anything. But then, I tried out a G on the D with open G, and I don't think that is doing more than a tiny, tiny amount, which is way less than the positive benefits of letting the open D ring while playing the G. And, I used to be a believer in doing it. I have now completely changed camps, and agree with Scott. How's that for novel on these boards, a religious conversion=)
A.O.: there is no crescendo in the opening open G (the crescendo comes after) and of course there is no tonal variation in one note. The reason why most soloists (coming from different traditions, both American and EU) do the vibrato is to give the note a little more body and expression.
No one has told me what a "dork' is!
To Herman West ~
As an American amateur who did
I see. I'm pleased you didn't aim that at me. I'm trying to discover American humour (note spelling! Which you got right ...) But so far I can't find any!
To A.O ~
@Ms. Matesky: I was thinking only of the the first note, but it has no cresc (but thank you for the stylistic suggestion). :)
"how about don't be a Scott Cole..."
50 replies about one note ! I would never suggest that Perlman, Bell, et al, are wrong; their playing is several orders of magnitude greater than mine. This is an art form, not mechanical engineering, we have choices. Much of what we do is part of an aural/oral tradition. Early recordings demonstrate an evolution of style. One way to break free of that tradition (and I am Not suggesting that tradition is wrong), is to use the composer's score as our starting point, instead of the edited version from a single famous soloist. Done with this one. ~jq
Hahaha, I didn't notice that, but it's quite funny.
This conversations is ridiculous. Open strings can be vibrated, except maybe for E, but typical G is the most common, especially in the Bruch. Calling it "dorky" is also dumb. If the some of the greatest living/dead violinists vibrate their open G strings, it is certainty not dorky. These people have been taught by amazing teachers. Perlman vibrates the open G because he likes the sound better than a plain open string.
The reason I call it dorky is because it's become such a "rule" of open D and G. We're "supposed" to do it and everyone says to.
Tim, I guess let me clarify: I don't think there's any sympathetic vibration thing going on. However, my hand wobbling the violin a little while doing the vibrato does make the sound wobble a little, whether it be the D string or the A string, but that does seem dorky to use Scott's phrase, and I don't think it sounds as good as just letting the strings ring.
Jason, I'm not even arguing how it sounds musically and if we should do it, I'm trying to simply figure out why it happens, and I want you guys to notice that open G is not doing vibrato because you're vibrating another G, but simply because you're vibrating, that is it. I've checked it myself some hours ago, and it works as I say, but I also want your confirmation to be sure I'm right.
Scott only said it was dorky if you do it *compulsively.*
I used to smash nails with my vibrato. Then I discovered this weird tool called hammer. xD
This subject got me thinking:
I vibrate both notes, Scott. But I think you could get away more easily with not vibrating the first note of Sibelius, because you have the orchestra playing behind you. Not so for the first note of Mozart 5.
Scott, isn't this a personal feeling that is not wrong or right?
Tim, I tried it. I could maybe hear something faint, but I couldn't seem to make the same vibrato as fingering the G on the D string.
So as a challenge to those that typically vibrate the first A of Mozart's A-Major concerto: try not vibrating it. Try only starting the vibrato midway through the C#, so that the two opening notes act as pickups to the E, where you can then turn on the vibrato.
To All Violinists here on the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor 1st Mov't Open G Question ~
@Scott, I can't imagine putting vibrato on the first note of M5 either. The Sibelius is way too hard for me so I can't comment on that.
Ms Matesky: Your very welcome! :)
Christian, hahaha, this is getting really confusing. In your last message you said that you can make the high G do vibrato. That was never discussed, that's right, I never said you couldn't. Indeed, in my explanation I say that you do vibrato in the high G, it's part of the scenario.
@Tim: It HAS everything to do with it! :D
Did Nathan Milstein record the Sibelius? It would surely have been in his concert repertoire, but so far there doesn't seem to be any sight of a recording in my usual sources.
Oh my God, A.O., I'm not talking about that, hahaha. Could you please re-read my previous posts?
For Trevor Jennings in the Brave UK ~
Elisabeth I just watched the Heifetz Masterclass video with you playing the Khachaturian. It it is probably unbelievable for you that that was already 55 years ago! Anyway I enjoyed the video a lot, you play extremely well and graceful and adapt quickly to what Heifetz was asking you to do, also I think you were quite brave against the formidable Heifetz, wielding your charming smile as a kind of counterforce! And, would it be very inappropriate if I said that you look very cute in that video ;-)
Elizabeth, many thanks for that information and insight. At the least, it will save me, and others, from a fruitless search! I don't doubt now that there must have been an overriding reason, presumably not musical, for Milstein to leave the Sibelius out of his repertoire. I'm not going speculate further.
@Trevor: Old post by Buri was that Milstein left out Sibelius because it didn't make musical sense to him.
Sibelius didn't make musical sense to him? That just sounds ridiculous.
I'm glad I'm in such fine company. The De Beriot No. 9 doesn't make sense to me either. I think I'll skip it.
Schoenberg is different. He was a serialist composer and composed atonal music, which is hard for most people to understand anyways. Sibelius was a late romantic composer, which should have been understandable by someone such as Milstein. Milstein played the concerto of his contemporary, Glazunov, and I believe he played it under his baton as well. Sibelius is not way out there or stretching tonality very much, which should make it understandable for him.
Maybe Milstein listened to Julian Sitkovetsky play Sibelius and realized there would never be better. :)
After reading so much about Milstein here, I decided to watch some of his performances (listen actually). Of course I knew him, but I have never listened him properly. Wow, he has impressed me.
So I finally watched the video of Perlman posted above.
Hahahaha, Christian, seriously, what your last message says is all part of my original scenario, what you're saying, I know it's happening and indeed I explain and say that it's happening before I introduce the problem, which is why I think the open G is not resonating.
The open g string resonates. It's simple physics
To All ~ Thank you for your kind compliments amid "Yesterday" reminders, Jean Dubuisson! For most, thank you in realising my Reply to Trevor Jennings re Milstein Never performing /recording Sibelius' Violin Concerto for truly honourable reasons is as far as I will go, and for an awakening by Tim Repond vis a vie the awesomeness of the Violin Art of Nathan Milstein, and for mention of Arnold Schoenberg's Violin Concerto by Peter Charles and Jacob Sumner which, as the daughter of Betty, Arnold Schoenberg's alternate pianist w/ Leonard Stein, for his most advanced classes at UCLA in 'Theory', 'Form and Analysis', & 'Orchestral Structure & Composition', plus her additional duties as the Assistant to Schoenberg re Exams, etc., who was always 'on call', performing/demonstrating huge portions of Arnold Schoenberg's orchestral/chamber orchestral scores (some of which had No piano reduction parts at the time - circa, 1938-1940), and totally impromptu, nearly flawlessly when Schoenberg was teaching gifted pupils - (i.e. Leon Kirchner & Earl Kim, both of whom were Compositional Prize Laureats with L..K. winning the Pulitzer) -his uniquely varying compositional techniques employed in his atonal musical style developed to convey the gamut of human emotion, I am truly taken by surprise to read Schoenberg dedicated his only Violin Concerto to Jascha Heifetz! In fact, having the violin w/piano score at hand, I'm going to look right now! Be back in a jiffy!! (My very shy & modest Mother never mentioned this in conversations about her over 2 years mentoring by Arnold Schoenberg, so off I go!)
I think Schoenberg may have changed the dedication after Heifetz refused to perform it. It was written for H but after his second look at it the rumour was that he had thrown the concerto in the bin.
I would have at least kept it for posterity... :D
To Peter Charles ~
To A.O ~
@Ms. Matesky: Just imagine the Schoenberg, but substitute Mr. Heifetz' sound and ifiosyncracoes in.
I hope not. I think the last label Heifetz would have wanted is "predictable."
To the OP,
@Paul: To be fair, every player becomes rather predictable in general terms if you listen to much of their repertoire (save Gitlis, I think the bow controls his movements, not his intended interpretation). :D
A relevant point that has not been mentioned in this discussion is that the fundamental (196Hz) of the violin's G string is next to inaudible or even non-existent on the vast majority of instruments, and is weak on the rare ones that do have it. This is because the size of the violin prevents the excitation of the 196Hz fundamental. Violas and cellos do not have this problem because of their larger internal volumes.
I hear the difference, Trevor! :D
Yes, that hollow, woody quality could be due to the missing fundamental. I certainly notice it on my Jay Haide, which is my practice/folk/reserve fiddle, but not quite so much on my old violin (18th c) which does have a residual 196Hz.
Of course, little things combined can outweigh missing body cavity! ;)
If you designed a large violin, to get that fundamental of the low G, what you would have is;.... a small viola...
With the greatest respect to those who play the Schoenberg from memory, how can a listener without a score be sure that all the notes are being played in the right order? And would it really matter ;)
My theory is that vibrating the octave G shakes the violin just enough to produce a slight bow vibrato!.....
Adrian, that's basically what I think it's going on, but we disagree on the octave higher G. If the "vibrato" effect we hear in the open G is due to the bow movement, then you don't need at all to play an octave higher G. You can press down any note to produce that bow "vibrato" in the open G.
The discussion about the physics of this reminds me of an invention by Leon Theremin, aka Lev Termen, of a passive radio microphone (called "the Thing").
To All including the "unapologetic curmudgeon late Night opinion, jq!"!!
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