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Violin Lessons: Prokofiev - Classical Symphony, 1st Mvt, opening - Reh. 12

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The Prokofiev Classical Symphony is a very
interesting piece
written way after the Classical period.
But still with the same clarity of
articulation and, and
cleanliness that's necessary to play the
famous Classical period works.
The complications here are extremely
varied dynamics and
a lot of different rhythms that all have
to fit into the same pulse.
So this is a great one to check every
different section with the metronome,
not to play through the piece with the
metronome but
to check to see if each time you get to a
transition you've maintained your pulse.
You nee, also need a great plan with the
It's can be dangerous to bring the bow off
the string and try and put it back so
a lot of times you wanna minimize that.
Let's look at the very beginning.
In performance it goes a little bit faster
than that, but I do like after that first
chord to stay right where I am with the
bow, rather than trying to retake.
I like the rugged articulation I get in
the upper half there.
And then I can use the 16nth notes
following to work my way back.
So, that up bow downbeat on the F-sharp I
want that to end
right at the bounce point for following
the eighth notes.
One common problem is actually starting
this out too slowly,
which hampers you the rest of the time.
Most of the fastest notes in here are
right here in the opening,
so if you can think ahead perhaps to
figure six.
That'll give you your quarter note.
And then, you know how to start.
And with a tempo like that, the rest of it
is usually more comfortable.
This excerpt, it's a long one and it has a
lot of rests as well.
Those all need to be counted fully it
takes a lot of patience.
There are a lotta different strokes to do
and perhaps fingerings to remember.
It's easy for your mind to wander and, and
fall ahead through the rest.
But count them fully cuz committee will
really listen for that.
Let's look again in a little more detail
at figure six.
This is marked by Prokofiev at the point
and that's how we play it.
You don't have to follow the bowings as
they're marked.
I like more as it comes, as I just showed
But the, at the point should still be
Then two bars before seven, you've been at
the point.
Use the first note to get off the string
and recover so
that you can play more toward the middle.
Now how you play this depends a little on
the size of your hand and
how comfortable you are reaching.
Obviously, these are really big intervals
that don't have much time for them.
That one you can play a harmonic up top,
even as is printed by Prokofiev.
You can also, if you want, play that
harmonic on the A string.
I don't find that necessary but that's one
option, same for the next one.
That's one trick.
I think it's just as easy to use a fourth
finger on the E string, and
place the one down in between.
That makes the A string a little lower, so
that you can more easily skip over it.
As far as this reach.
It's not comfortable, but there, there's
really no other great way around it.
I've seen people if they have an
especially small hand actually play
an open string on the bottom and
just play a different grace note than the
one that's marked.
That you can do as a last resort, but
otherwise, just the reach.
Now the pizzicatos that come after this
section at rehearsal ten,
those should be quality.
And a lotta times you're amped up by the
time you get to this point in the excerpt
and the, the pizzis start snapping.
Instead just get their set.
Without letting a hand rebound so far off
the string, then you can have a,
a quality sound.
Now when you get to the very end of this
excerpt and you have the scales that go
down, you need tremendous left hand
articulation for that.
There's a little pop from the two hand
simultaneously at the top of the scale.
If you can get the first couple notes of
the scale going down cleanly,
then the rest will be able to fit in.
The tempo needs to stay the same.
They are very fast scales, but
if you can really pop it with both hands
at the beginning of the scale,
then you'll articulate it cleanly and
finish this one out nicely.