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Violin Lessons: Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht mm. 310 - 319

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Now in this excerpt from Verklärte Nacht,
the reason that a committee would ask this
is because
they would want to hear your personal
This is a much freer excerpt than some
other ones
things aren't really spelled out
This was originally a string sextet and
Schoenberg revised it slightly so it could
be played by a string orchestra.
Now in order to really play this it's
helpful to have heard it or
maybe read the chamber music version.
But it's also important to know the German
text that's in there and in particular,
a couple of symbols that are common to
Schoenberg and
some of the other composers Germanic
composers of his time.
You'll see what looks like a big letter H
right in the very second bar of the
excerpt and that stands for the [FOREIGN],
the high voice or the the most important
And in fact most of this excerpt is
bracketed by H [FOREIGN] symbols.
There's an N that you don't see in this
excerpt that would be a voice of
medium importance and then anything that's
not bracketed is less important.
So by looking at the dynamics in those
symbols you get a sense of when
you're the leading voice.
There's one other symbol to be aware of,
and that is in bar 332.
You see what looks like an up bow in the
middle of the bar,
that's his sign for a break or, railroad
So there a, you know, a real break in the
sound there and it restarts after.
320 [FOREIGN] that's, that's a quick
So, that leads me to believe that the
retard that goes into
that retards below the tempo then 320
picks back up.
So these, these are all details that you
wanna be familiar with,
rather than just trying to come up with a,
a fuzzy interpretation.
In the very beginning, it's marked
[FOREIGN] and so
that's something slower than the main
tempo that you're in.
This, this excerpt, it's hard to pick a
place in this piece
that isn't starting in the middle of
something and 310 is no exception.
That is a slower bar and
then the next bar with a [FOREIGN] that's
back to the main tempo.
So it you alternate this, it,
it becomes more instinctive when you do it
a few times.
A slower
bar first
So in this case it's easy, the slower bars
are quieter, the,
the fast bars are louder and that, that's
more our natural tendency anyway.
Right here I, there's a finger that I
leave down to help with pitch,
there's an in harmonic spelling that can
be tricky.
Now, my finger's on an E
natural and I wanna leave it there
to play the F flat
The same thing happens a couple bars later
with E sharp and F natural.
Now, as this excerpt gets going, it gets
loud, and louder, and finally, loudest.
And you have to find what's the real peak,
pace both your dynamics, and your
everything else about your expression.
The vibrato, the sustain of the bow and
even, the time that you might take.
You have to pace that toward the peak.
In this excerpt it's fine to take time
where you think it's appropriate,
unless there's a written instruction
telling you to, to push.
A lot of this is loud and on the E string
whenever that's the case in an except you
have to watch the quality of sound,
the quality of vibrato that it doesn't get
too shrill.
It's a very, it's singing, it's exciting.
It just can't cross that line into too
And so let me demo a little bit of that
intense E string sound,
staying just on this side of the line.
So I'm looking for as much as I can muster
at the climax but
without a buzz, without a scratch.