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Violin Lessons: Schumann - Symphony #2, 2nd Mvt, opening - m. 54 and coda

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The Schumann Scherzo,
an extremely important excerpt that's
found on almost every audition list.
It's actually more notable in its absence
if you're talking to someone, and they say
they're preparing a list, and oh, but I
don't have to do the Schumann Scherzo.
Wow, I can't believe it's not on there.
So, know this one, it's one of the first
ones to, to really wanna master.
The cla, the challenges are the string
crossings, the pitch and the steadiness.
And because it's in a quick tempo those
difficulties are magnified.
So, the first step is to get proper
sounding stroke that
has clear articulation for these 16ths.
Next, you need to be comfortable
crossing strings with that stroke.
So you could pick almost any etude you
Now Critser, too,
would be a great candidate where you
with different amounts of notes on each
And what you're listening for
is the same sound on each note, up and
It's the same kinda critical ear you have
to apply to this.
It's not very far off the string, which
makes it easier to control.
Usually in this very opening,
the notes that get lost are the ones on
the G string.
The arm simply hasn't moved far enough.
You wanna anticipate the string crossings
with your arm so that you can get
to approximately the right level, and then
your wrist just cleans up the edges.
It takes a lot of time,
a lot of listening to hear
each note consistently.
It's easy to get into a habit with the,
the ear and
the mind of kind of skipping over notes.
The same notes don't really speak time
after time and after a while,
you almost forget they're there.
So what you want is clarity on all the
That doesn't mean that all the notes have
to sound exactly the same in dynamic
because you do want some direction.
There are accents there to let you know
where you're going to.
So the figure always starts with
those three pickups.
That doesn't need to be too obvious.
There shouldn't be any time, and
there shouldn't be any big dynamic
difference there.
But it's helpful to remember that those
are check points you can aim for.
Oftentimes I hear players rush those
pickups because they're so eager to get to
the accent.
So it's enough to do it with dynamic.
Now throughout this excerpt you wanna keep
a solid hand frame.
Intonation in this can be tricky if your
hand is crawling around and,
and, looking for notes, so right after
that last
accent that I just played, you have
There I shift on the half steps, I shift
with my second finger,
but I don't move the hand, that's very
So I reach way back for the one and
I change the shape of my second finger
without moving the hand.
That kind of thing will happen throughout
this excerpt.
Dont second etude, Dont number two is a
great one to practice
to really feel where the frame is when
you're reaching and when you're shifting.
That clarifies the, the, that feeling in
the hand having a really solid frame.
Now let's look at the retard that's in
there and how you get back in the tempo.
It's a sudden return to tempo.
A lot of the time I hear folks not
getting back to tempo really quick.
And it's, it's not accelerando back to
It happens right as it says a tempo.
So you can do whatever retard you like but
when you start back up with the eighth
notes they have to match the 16ths that
you are playing.
[SOUND] Now let's look right after that
when you crescendo to forte there's a
tricky bit which I like to do on the D and
G strings.
The reason I like that is because it lets
me keep a frame for every four notes.
I've got an octave frame.
So I can move my hand the same amount each
time, and then just change the fingers in
the middle.
Now if you'll look with me at letter K
here's a convenient place to reach back.
So I'm in fourth position.
So the hand doesn't
have to move very much.
It's really reaching back twice that
saves, well let's put it this way,
it's easier to reach back with one and two
than it is with three.
When you start reaching back with a third
finger it tends to mess up the frame
a little more, so I prefer reaching back
with one, and if necessary at two.
When you reach that forte at K, keep the
same pulse that you've had.
It's easy to get excited at that point.
You, you've survived thus far.
You're playing forte.
Your little, you're using a little more
bow, easy to let that run ahead but
not only are the notes difficult there,
but you wanna keep the same pulse.
Now let's look at the very beginning, how
you get a great start.
As usual, you wanna rehearse your opening
And there is an empty downbeat so you can
use that downbeat to set and release.
So in other words, wherever you put,
wherever you place the bow, set the bow,
that's the downbeat.
And then you release for those notes.
If I'm preparing for
an audition I would rehearse the opening
of this
from the rest position hundreds of times.
Because as with so many excerpts once you
get a great start that gives you such
confidence for the rest.
Now at the coda, it's your option,
it's not exactly marked to go faster, but
it is a nice option.
It lends a little more brilliance.
Lets you show off.
I find the notes here are not as difficult
as the rest of it.
So, you can let it go as long as it
doesn't keep snowballing.
It's, it's a nice touch to, to get a
little faster there.