The end of the first movement of
Brahms Four tests many different things.
There's an endurance factor because it's
mostly quite loud, and you have
to make it all the way to the end without
letting the sound and the energy flag.
Actually the most difficult aspect of this
excerpt is the pulse.
Because there are a lot of different
rhythms and subdivisions going on, and
the pulse has to stay absolutely steady.
I find that many people start this excerpt
too slow because they get hung up
in the sixteenth notes.
What that does is it gives you a pulse of
and if anything, the end of this movement
should be a little quicker than the
of the movement, not, not held.
So, what is helpful, as in many excerpts,
is to think to a further part ahead in the
I like to think ahead to rehearsal R.
Then I get my eighth notes, and
from that, I can get sixteenths
that gives you a nice, moderate tempo from
which you can, you can increase it
the end if you want a little bit more
It should generally be one tempo for this
excerpt, but in the heat of the moment and
if you're playing well, nobody minds a
little edge, I think, in this one.
The pitch is difficult, this except goes
There are shifts.
You have to navigate, which we'll get
But think first, sound quality and pulse.
The opening is not fortissimo, so
you have to save a little bit
there at the top is your fortissimo.
So you have to give the impression of
starting with energy but not,
not your most sound.
Where I just arrived letter Q,
that's a place that often slows down
mostly because of the rests.
So it's one, two, three, four, rest, two,
One helpful way to remember that or
to, a good habit to get into is to make
your releases directly in time with the
That usually means that you'll count the
rest accurately too.
There is a scary high C,
potentially scary high C in this one, and
the shift up to it is actually, that
doesn't have to be so
difficult by itself, but you also have to
get back down.
So in situations like this, one helpful
thing is to find that high C,
find the note, find it with the quality
that you want and
then practice getting down from there.
So if I find the high C [SOUND] I play it
on an up-bow,
so that's what I'm gonna do here.
[SOUND] And just practice how that feels
and how that sounds.
That builds confidence that you're gonna
reach that spot when you shift up to it.
[SOUND] And then you practice getting down
You can do it whatever
tempo you'd like,
as long as you have good sound quality.
Once you find your way down, then you can
practice the shift up as well.
And that you have the confidence of
hearing that top note over and over again
with a good quality,
and that let's you, that let's you execute
it under pressure as well.
Speaking of that place, here's how I get
I reach back three, one
and then shift to two, one.
Of course, this is all done without moving
the thumb because I'm still in a pretty
high position, so
this is just the hand navigating up there.
The thumb moves after I shift
down into the third position.
Later, the next time it gets up high,
I'd like to shift on the half steps when I
And then you see, I,
I stay in position a little bit so
that I'm not shifting up and
down too much.
While we're talking about fingerings,
let's look at the end because there
are some perfect fifths, repeated perfect
fifths that need to be perfectly in tune.
I find they're easier with a reach
and then similarly, the very end.
I see people sometimes trying to shift
around those, and that's just needless
the end of an excerpt especially if you've
been playing it well up to then.
So remember to pace yourself.
You can't start out with your biggest
You have to save a little for fortissimo,
and then even then, you need to keep it
within the bounds of quality, so that you
can push it a little bit if you,
if you have room to spare, you can push it
for the end, for an exciting end.
Remember that dynamics are relative.
So, as long as what you're giving the
committee has the proper energy,
the proper character, what they're really
gonna hear are your dynamic differences,
not the absolute amount of sound that
you're putting out.
So by the time you get to the end,
if you have a little more room to open up,
feel free to do it.
That makes for an exciting ending.
If you don't have it, then just finish
sound quality, always the most important