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Violin Lessons: Mahler - Symphony #1, 4th Mvt, Reh. 15 - 19

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In this excerpt from Mahler's first
symphony, in the last movement, you're
asked to do many things,
the first of which is to know the German
text that's in there,
because that's going to inform how you
play it, tempo, expression.
But you really need to pace your
There are parts of this that require you
to go all out, to use the most external,
expression, really wearing your heart on
your sleeve.
Mollet is often really about that, but
there's a large section of this that asks
you to stay very contained and the, the
tension comes from the fact that although,
the rest of, most of the rest of this
piece is very out and very wild.
Here's a place where you're having to keep
a lid on it and,
the committee wants to hear that you can
do that.
Make a totally even sound that doesn't,
that isn't allowed accents and little
flourishes of expression.
So, you have to be able to have that, that
That very, yeah, a boiling pot with a lid
on it.
It's under there,
but not coming
out in freedom
of tempo or
freedom of sound
So all of that, even though there's tons
of emotion in there,
has to take place really, really
underneath a giant weight.
So the dragund, that means to, to move
So you, you're there, you're finally
allowed to break out a little bit but
then it, then it comes back.
The section starting at 16 that needs to
be totally even.
Now there, there's
no accents marked,
and he marks them where
he wants them
So that's the sound you want.
You, you're not supposed to be doing
anything great with it at that point.
That gets to come later.
I should mention that the glissando that's
just before 16,
that should be heard, there's not an
accent on the final note,
but let's hear the connection between the
two notes.
That's an emotional device that, that he,
he often uses.
When the hairpins finally do come in,
observe them, but
within the sound world that you're in.
You would hate to spoil the, the great
moments that come later,
even the heightened expression by, by
coming out of that sound too early.
Now the very end of this gets very free,
and basically is out as you can make it.
Let's look at
how you wanna
get around
the instrument
There's a lot going on there.
I do like to play it all in the G string.
I think it has, it's sort of like a bit of
a strangled cry.
If you play it on the upper strings, it
sounds a little free-er,
it has more ring, but I, that's not the
sound for me.
There there needs to be a struggle there.
Of course, in an audition, the number one
rule is you have to sound good.
So if it's not working for you, not
working for your hand or
your instrument then play it, I would say,
on the D string.
I, I would, playing it on the A string is
almost no point.
But assuming that you're gonna go for
it on the G string,
so far we've just been reaching,
no shifts, no
That's another great one to practice, just
finding that top note.
Getting used to the bow speed and
the placement near the bridge that you're
going to need for that.
Many people struggle with that shift
they don't change what the bows doing
You can see the string is so
much shorter there than it was
So during the shift, your bow has to move
into the bridge and
the bow speed probably has to slow down
just a little bit.
Once you're up on the formata,
you have a choice as to whether you wanna
the sound before going on, I choose not to
and I also
go down one step with the third finger
So that I don't have to shift until that
G-flat then I,
then I take a third finger there.
I also like a little gliss, not a little
a quite substantial one
Nice and juicy, whole step gliss there to,
to close out this excerpt.