The Beethoven First Symphony Fourth
movement opening is a tricky little,
tricky little number.
Really what a committee is looking for
here is that your sound can absolutely fit
with the section, 15 other players.
When I was playing these excerpts for
established symphony players,
I, I played for a title player in the
Philadelphia Orchestra who insisted
that this excerpt be featured in every one
of the Philadelphia Orchestra auditions.
And he said, over the objections of some
of his colleagues,
he always insisted on this excerpt being
in there because he,
he claimed that he could eliminate up to
80% of candidates with this excerpt alone.
I, I think part of that was tongue in
cheek but I,
I know what he means after playing this
excerpt and hearing it in many auditions.
His phrase was the right hand kills music
and the right hand
has the ability to place a lot of accents
where you may not want them.
Especially where the dynamic is low as it
is for this entire opening.
So you have to use your ear extremely
I'm gonna point out a number of places
often hear accents, in auditions.
Right there that, that short note
the pick up to the second bar can easily
get an accent if you're not careful.
In, instead you want it to lead
and same with all these other pick ups,
whether they come on up bow or down bow.
I like to play the next pick up on a down
bow but I can't have an accent.
Same with the next pick up.
So, you set the bow on the string but you
simply release it without any consonant,
without any [SOUND] and you're gonna have
to use your ear all the time to,
to really monitor whether you're doing
You'll also notice that I don't move my
bow during the rest and this is important,
because anytime you move the bow,
anytime you take it off the string and put
it back on,
bad things can happen, especially under
pressure in an audition.
So you'll see that I leave it there and I
do the pickup right from the place I
left the bow the last time and that
includes also after the very first note,
that formatto note, I leave the bow right
you need to listen
also to how you play
into the rests.
Of course, the pulse has to keep going but
the sound should also release into the
rest in character.
You can hear this is a very vulnerable
opening, so you
don't want cut-offs that sound like this
That's of course an exaggeration but you
want the sound to blend into the rest and
then during the crescendo even the note
that leads into the rest has to crescendo,
so that you eventually build up past piano
because that piano is a subito.
Subito piano and
then a subito pianissimo.
So you see there's a lot going on in this
very first line.
You don't want any distractions.
You don't want the committee to hear any
distractions in the sound.
And now to set the Allegro
you put the bow right in the exact
So you finish the Formado
then you find that spot.
Now you'll see the metronome marking given
here, that's Beethoven's metronome marking
of 88 to the half note.
As you may know, Beethoven went back later
he discovered the metronome, and he
thought, this great invention,
and I'm gonna put metronome markings for
all my music.
And what happens as happens to many
he chose metronomes markings for the most
part that were extremely fast.
So, in the Beethoven symphonies when you
see these metronome markings,
they are his, I wouldn't say they're
worthless, they give an indication but
really the, the character and the, the
tempo marking, Allegro Molto e Vivace.
I mean that lets you know that it's fast
do you have to get to 88 to the half note?
Not really, you need to listen to how it
how cleanly you can articulate the notes
because they have to be clean.
So, as with most orchestral off the string
strokes, it stays very close to the
Now, when you need to make a crescendo,
which happens very quickly
that goes all the way from piano to
fortissimo rather than doing it
you do it more horizontally you use more
bow on those eighth notes.
That prevents you from getting the hard
which doesn't really sound good by ones
self, and it sounds even worse when there
are 16 people doing it.
So you make
by using more