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Violin Lessons: Debussy - La Mer 2nd Mvt, Reh. 33 - 5 before 39

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Here, we have the so called long excerpt
from La Mer and it is a good bit longer
than the,
the short one, so, it's aptly named.
Its main challenge is that in the second
half of the excerpt, there's
an accelerando or an animum that runs all
the way to the end of the excerpt.
And whereas, you had to keep a steady
pulse in the first half of the excerpt,
you have to accelerate, and keep
accelerating through the second half.
And that's a weakness I find in many
auditions, that there's not much of
a difference in tempo but what difference
there is doesn't continue.
Whereas, when you play it in the
orchestra, the tempo really does keep
going and the committee wants to hear that
you can imagine yourself in the orchestra,
in the section when you're playing this
That's what I find is the biggest
The pitch of course this excerpt gets high
there's not a lot of time to find the
And you're dealing with other
And then, the evenness,
trying to keep the notes even with mixed
articulations and some crazy dynamics.
So, there's a lot going on.
It's worth looking at a little road map of
the tempo.
We start at the anime at 33.
There, we want it to be absolutely steady,
like in the short WC excerpt.
But then, starting [COUGH] at 35, you have
the, an animum beaucoup.
You need to know the difference between
anime and animum.
Anime is faster, animated.
An animum means getting faster.
So, at 35 of it just said anime, then, you
could go quicker right from there, and
that's what a lot of people do in
auditions, but that's incorrect.
It should, 35 should be the same tempo,
but it begins to get faster, and
that continues to the end of the excerpt.
So, be, be certain about that.
The trill that opens the excerpt, it's not
marked to put any articulation on it.
But, I like to give a little bit of a
pulse to it on each bow change.
Just to help people know what my tempo is.
I find it when I listen to auditions, when
it sounds just like one big trill.
Then, I'm always surprised when
the player suddenly
so, I like to give a little pulse to let
people know what my tempo is.
Then, when you get to the bar with the
I switch fingers to the third finger on
the G-sharp.
That puts the string change on a half
And I like the articulation I get there.
Then, of course,
I have to go back up to a two for the
Unless, if you have a great fourth finger
trill, you're, feel free to do that with
the third finger the whole way, but, I
will rely on that in an audition.
The same there I, I go to second position,
so, that the string changes on a half
As in the short
Debussy excerpt you wanna keep these mixed
articulations close to the string.
You might wanna consider doing it as it
comes as well.
If you hook,
in other words, if you try and
do always get the strong beats on the down
you can end up with some unevenness, and
you can end up with some unintended
You'll have to try what works best for
you, but I do that part as it comes.
I also like
ending there
on an up bow.
As in so many other expert excerpts, the
bow speed is gonna determine the dynamic.
So, as you get further into the
accelerando and it gets louder and
louder, the separate notes are gonna have
to get more bow and freer bow.
So, that by the end of
this excerpt when you're up at
double and even triple forte,
you're using a lot of bow.
I keep those notes on the string but again
with a French sound it's not stuck, it's
not gluey.
It's a, it's a very free and ringing
If you take these notes off, it can end up
sounding hard and
it can be difficult to continue the
So, in the performance you'll see that it
takes a little effort to keep
the animum going to the end.
I should mention, whether you want to call
it a misprint or not,
many parts for this piece have one bar,
the bar at rehearsal 38,
that's different from the modern editions
that we use in orchestras now.
The, the new edition of La Mer, not
particularly new anymore.
But, in that new edition at rehearsal 38,
the rhythm in that bar and
the notes, correspond to the bars that
come later.
So, in other words, it should be,
as opposed to what you see in many parts.
Most committees are aware that many
people have a part that has the old
So, it's, it's not a disaster.
People know that, that part's out there,
but should update yourself to the 21st
Play the rhythm, at rehearsal 38, as it
comes in the bars after that.