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Violin Lessons: Elgar - Enigma Variations 2nd Mvt, opening - 7 before Reh. 7

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Elgar's Enigma Variations is a charming
and wonderful piece, one of my favorite
And so, it's really a shame that for so
many years,
I only knew it from this excerpt.
Which is very strange sounding, and out of
context, seems just cruel.
When it appears in an audition,
it's because the committee wants to see
how you might handle a tricky opening.
Because this, the beginning of this
excerpt is the beginning of the movement,
and it feels just as awkward and horrible
in performance as it does in an audition.
So, you need to be able to handle that
with an empty downbeat and
some difficult notes to navigate and
string crossings.
In order to make this playable,
you need to choose fingerings that
minimize your sting crossings.
So, you work within the frame of a fifth.
That allows you to do some reaching and,
get rid of some of the string crossings.
[SOUND] when you can cross over on a, on
the fifth, perhaps,
the passage just before six has an
opportunity to do that.
So, there, I would cover both notes with
my second finger, so, that I'm not having
change around the hand right at that
vulnerable moment.
Every entrance starts from the string
we remind ourselves of that every time we
play it in the orchestra as well.
But every entrance starts from the string
and it's released.
The dynamics, as usual, you handle with
the amount of bow.
You generally want the same height off the
string for, for
all of these passages no matter the
dynamic, but you change the amount of bow.
Since this beginning is so vulnerable and
so important, it's another great one to
rehearse your opening moves, especially,
with that empty downbeat.
You can see I sort of conduct myself.
I give myself a bar and then, set the bow
on the string, and then, it releases.
What I want to avoid is getting in
an audition situation and just getting
ready and waiting.
That leads to, to panic and uneven notes.
So, it's only piano.
Give yourself a comfortable sound cushion.
Give yourself a nice good breath and then,
release the string and begin.