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Violin Lessons: Mozart - Symphony #39, 1st Mvt, mm. 26 - mm. 97

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The allegro section of this first movement
of the Mozart 39 is deceptively difficult.
It's a, it's a very simple tune, very
simple theme.
And also very symmetrical,
and that's the problem.
[LAUGH] Mozart's tunes that are simple and
symmetrical are easy to get deadly dull.
So, what you have to do is, you can't
change the rhythms.
Can't change the notes, so you need to
make a shape that is interesting,
that does something other than put you in
a box.
So that, that's the first challenge.
Part of that is the phrase endings.
Like many phrases, this one is broken up
into fragments, and
rather than having the sound end right at
the rest, you want to play into
the rest in such a way that points to how
you're gonna come out of it.
There, I've died into the rest, and
I've effectively ended the phrase when
what I want to
do is tie the bars together as if there
were no rest.
So therefore, I wanna release into
the rest in such a way that I can continue
that way.
Also there, I've used the first half of
the phrase,
this is a classic question and answer.
So the first half of the phrase poses a
question that ends more up.
The second half of the phrase answers
it and resolves down.
The next part is also in fragments and you
use the same kind of logic.
The, these aren't the only possible
choices but they're ones that,
that make sense.
Here's something that Mozart does all
the time, a short fragment followed by one
starts to sound the same, but then, is
So anytime you have that extension, you
want to, you usually want to grow into it.
To, to highlight how it's enhancing what
had happened before.
So there, we have a basic shape,
or a way of thinking about how to make
a shape with all these fragments.
So even though it's marked only piano,
it's perfectly fine for
you, and in fact you should make up your
own shapes, and mark them in the part.
You can change them as long as you use
Now, all of that's fine.
You can construct a great and beautiful
shape, but this excerpt goes beyond that.
We have 16ths and eighths later on, and
you can really paint yourself into a
corner, mostly by playing that too fast.
As you know, most of the time it's easier
to make a line when you go quicker.
That feels very comfortable,
very natural, almost in one.
The problem is that if you look at bar 71
in that same pulse.
I can do it.
I wouldn't necessarily wanna do it under
pressure and it's not really, it,
it starts to sound a little silly.
So this is, it's dignified, classy, so, an
appropriate tempo for
those 16ths, while impressive might be
something more moderate.
So, of course, that's what you want to
think of to grab your pulse for this.
[SOUND] There's my quarter and now I'm
gonna begin.
So, that takes a little more care now to,
to make the shape,
to make the line come out.
But it's the only way,
because committees hate to hear tempo
changes halfway through.
You want to, when you get to that spot
with the scales,
the 16th note descending scales, hold the
dotted half notes fully.
They, they can still have a little bit of
taper, but you don't want them to die.
And in fact, they don't
have to all have the same taper.
Because this is a long series.
Some of the ones are naturally more
dissonant than others,
say that one that I just got to.
That one you may choose to grow into the
So that gives a little more variety.
Lastly look at measure 89 which this
section closes out this excerpt.
That should have a natural diminuendo to
One thing I hear often is hitting the last
note of the phrase.
Instead this is, this octave down is a
natural taper.
I would even play the last note a little
shorter than the one before.
All these details,
when you synthesize them together in
and it takes some synth, synthesizing.
You can't just choose to do all these
things and then run it through and
expect they're all gonna be there.
One by one, you build these details in to
get a very classy, smooth,
and musical performance of this allegro.