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Violin Lessons: Bach - B Minor Mass, No. 5 "Laudamus Te", opening - m. 12

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This aria from the Bach B Minor mass
is challenging, because you have to find
a character that can be difficult to
It's not exactly boisterous but
it's not sad and lamenting either.
Just the notes and rhythms by themselves
can be hard to interpret so it's important
to listen to this one and to listen to the
singer sing the aria to get the character.
It's one of those, sort of, in between
So it's, it's reverent,
but in a, in a major key joyful without
spiky or happy, exactly.
So, as with most of the Bach selections,
you want a generally leaner sound.
You want to lean away from the romantic
fatter vibrato.
And everything must be shaped.
And none of that is gonna be written in
the part, so
it's always up to you to come up with
shapes and
to be informed by certain patterns, let's
say, conventions.
For example, where I just ended, that's an
Figures like that are almost always come
away from the first note, so the, the
upper note is the stronger one.
Same with something if it were a lower
neighbor like.
So there at that phrase ending,
it would really stick out if you played
that finishing note just as strong
as the others or, or even worse, accented
it with bow or vibrato.
Another way to make shapes in this kind of
music is to look at, simply,
how high and low the notes are.
The shape often follows that.
You want to look, also, for series and
in this particular excerpt, we have many
It's easy to see how those should dim and
crescendo respectively, but
it's surprising how often, in performance
people don't project that clearly enough.
That they think they're putting out a
shape, but it's not really coming out.
So you need to record yourself and
see whether what you think is coming out
really is.
Now the tempo can be hard to grab in the
beginning because of the slow notes.
So, it's good
to think ahead to this.
To get that opening tempo.
The rhythms here are important, they need
to be articulated clearly so
that they don't turn into triplets.
But without having accents in
the middle of the bow.
So it takes some doing to put these
together, to come up with a shape that
works and
that doesn't have any distractions.
If you'll look two-thirds of the way
through the excerpt.
You have to keep the 32nds
going through your head and
your fingers all the time through ties,
through longer notes.
Because you have many different variations
on the 16th, 8th, and 32nd rhythms.
Now in bar five.
You'll want to prep all the fingers so
that you're not having to put down
descending fingers during the scale.
Your fingers should be in
those positions when you start each bow.
That's the best way to
ensure intonation there.
That's the same exercise that you do in
the Kreutzer Etude, number 11.
As for the trills, there's not much time
for a full trill so
you may want to think of it just as a
An exception
would be the last trill.
There you have time for,
for a couple turns.
Look, if you will, in bar ten.
There's a deceptive cadence halfway
through that bar.
And you have to come to a decision how
you're going to arrive there, and
what you're gonna do cuz you have to do
It's an interesting chord.
It could lead right there.
And then come away or
it could come away into it.
But you need to show that you,
you understand what kind of a cadence it
That you've looked at the harmony already.
That, that shows people that you've,
you're taking it seriously and you're,
you're taking in the whole piece.