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Violin Lessons: Mozart - Magic Flute Overture (2nd Violin), mm. 16 - 59

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The challenges in The Magic Flute Overture
for the second violin are almost all
concentrated in the beginning of the
allegro, the fugue subject.
If you can get a great start on this,
you're well on the way to, to playing a
successful, very difficult excerpt.
Steadiness is the key.
So you need a stroke that's rock solid and
dependable for the eighth notes.
This one and the Mendelssohn skirt sort of
the Midsummer Night's Dream I
think are the most important to rehearse
your opening routine exactly.
I like to come from, off the string of
course for my cue, my cue to myself.
But the actual first note I like to
release from on the string.
Now, the forte that you see there often
comes out as an accent which is not very
If you look at how it's written, it's
really just a forte over four notes and
so those four notes should be heard
So, the challenge is to fit that in
between runs of piano notes.
And that's the same for the two-eighth
notes that come soon after.
So, you'll see, as I so often do, I get
more horizontal when I want more sound.
So, for the, the slurred 16th notes, I
think horizontal rather than vertical,
and that helps me avoid an unattractive
I once had a coach in school that reminded
me that in Mozart, and Haydn,
piano and forte are next door neighbors.
It was often later composers that made
great use of mezzo-piano,
mezzo-forte and sort of stretched the
dynamic range.
That's not to say that Mozart doesn't have
dramatic fortes or
pianos, but they're not always these
extreme dynamics that we sometimes think.
So, the forte and the 16th notes are gonna
provide surprise enough.
They don't need to be over done.
Now the next change to make is from
subject to accompaniment.
You have the fugue subject.
Immediately after, is accompaniment where
the next section plays.
And so this is the accompaniment.
Even though there's no dynamic change
there, the subject is piano.
The accompaniment is piano.
It's nice to show the committee that you
understand the difference in roles.
So, I would play more comfortably in the
beginning for the,
the fugue subject, and then make an effort
to come down for the accompaniment.
So, my transition might sound.
Once you've made that difference it's okay
to ease it back up.
But for a few bars or so, you should play
it closer to pianissimo.
Now, there's a quick change to forte, and
for that, use more bow again.
That prevents it from getting the hard
So similar to the last movement of Mozart
I like to practice the forte sometimes
And then shorten up the bow to get my
piano sound.
There's one thing to watch for in this.
Later on in the excerpt,
we have repeated 16th notes that should
sound like a melody.
Except you'll notice that I'm playing them
very slowly.
The tempo of the 16th should match the
pulse that's been going on all along.
Very often what happens is
people are not able to maintain their
speed on the 16th notes.
So you need a free bow for that, a relaxed
If your opening tempo is.
Then you have.
So it's nice to make a shape in those.
That helps prevent arm fatigue, too.
If you're playing it all the same then the
arm starts to tighten up.
But instead.
And even though it's, it's not a
conventional melody per se,
it still has the, the structure that
Mozart often uses, two short fragments and
then one longer one.
So in this case, we have one bar, one bar,
then two bars.
So you can look for those shapes to make
even a more intelligent
presentation of this excerpt, after you've
gotten your great start.