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Violin Lessons: Brahms - Symphony #4, 2nd Mvt 6, before Reh. E - F

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The second movement of
Brahm's Fourth Symphony, the sound is
what's most important,
as it is in all excerpts but especially
here the sound and
the character are so closely intertwined.
And therefore when you choose your
articulations you, you have to put
an ear to what sounds good, not what
necessarily feels comfortable for the arm.
Not what it looks like on the page, you
if you see dots or if you see no dots.
So, it's helpful to listen to a recording,
example, of, of this movement to remember
what the overall sound world is.
The bowings and the articulations you
choose have to give you control over
that sound and the length of all the
So even in the very beginning of this
how much articulation you put between the
So it's not completely connected but it,
it's certainly not a note by note
articulation either.
There needs to be direction through the
It's, it's a bit of a fine balance.
But when you use your ear perhaps record
You'll be able to hear what, what sounds
good and what would fit in a section.
Let me play those 32nd notes one more
So, there's articulation on each note, but
there's direction through the line.
Similarly, the triplets after E, they need
That's another thing that I find works
better on the string rather than off.
Usually, when I hear it off the string,
it's either not powerful enough or
it's too noisy.
And too, too abrupt, too out of character.
Those repeated Bs are obviously
less important than the moving notes.
When you're playing the repeated Bs,
someone else is playing the moving notes,
so you can back off of those.
Makes it less monotonous.
The section well, it's not marked to play
on the G string,
but it's traditionally done on the G
string, or at least started that way.
That would be halfway between E and F.
There you have to, again, know your
Decide how much of that you're going to
play on the G string.
I'll tell you where, where I switch over
to the D but it's not,
you know, it's not marked by Brahms.
It's a tradition.
And it, this gutsy sound of the G string
does match the character there.
So I would say use it when you can.
But there's no point in sounding bad in an
audition ever.
Whether it's for reasons of pitch or sound
quality or
perhaps if your instrument has wolf, a bad
wolf on a B.
You won't want to be holding a B on the G
string there in an audition.
You want to imagine the whole violin
section playing it again.
One thing that tends not to sound good in
a section
is a vibrato that's really really intense.
So for example.
That kind of sound might sound good in a
in a place that's really high intensity,
really high energy.
This is not an especially high intensity
Again that's why it's good to perhaps
refresh your memory with a recording.
This needs to sound broad.
One image that the concertmaster in
Chicago gave me once was a giant rope.
If you're imagining like a slow motion
game of tug of war and
you're holding on to a giant rope and just
gradually there are no sudden movements.
The whole sort of organism moves at once,
very slowly and with a lot of resistance.
That's the kind of sound you want here on
the G string.
So, the bow speed generally slow, the
fat powerful, but generally relaxed.
And no sudden changes in the sound.
So now up to the B,
I do stay on the G string.
There's where I change over to the D, and
wherever you change over, you don't wanna
make it sound like.
Just I'm changing because I have to.
Use the change as a change in sound.
That's a particularly convenient place to
do it.
Because it's
part of a diminuendo.
And so that, that's a nice place to have a
color change.
And that closes out this excerpt with a
very pleasing sound.