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Violin Lessons: Bach - St. Matthew Passion, No. 47 "Erbarme dich", opening - Reh. A

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[MUSIC]
This beautiful aria from the Bach's St.
Matthew Passion, there's no mistaking the
character.
It's, it's a lamentation.
The trick is that it has a steady pulse
that keeps going, and in fact,
the harmony changes don't want to come too
slowly.
So it's easy to get into the habit of
practicing this
in such a way that it really holds up the
motion.
The line is beautiful.
[MUSIC]
But because of the small notes,
it's easy to want to lapse into
something a little more comfortable,
and a little slower.
[MUSIC]
You just have to be aware
that the slower your play,
the harder it is to sustain the line and
to make your direction clear.
So you, you have to balance those two
considerations.
The, the playability, of the line with the
character and
the ease of making your direction clear.
Later in the excerpt, there are some
tricky rhythms with quick notes.
Those should be accurate and expressive.
[MUSIC]
Here it
looks like I'm
on a backwards bowing.
I, I like this bowing for the sustaining
of the top note.
[MUSIC]
And you can hear that we're in the middle
of a series there, a downward series, so
it's great to show that in shape.
The bow changes throughout this,
this selection should be very smooth, as
if it's all on one bow.
Even when you're speaking a note as you
might.
The 16th note in the first beat.
[MUSIC]
And when the changes come more
frequently you have to work
even harder to make it smooth.
[MUSIC]
Now, the grace notes in here,
it's up to you how you play them.
You can hear, one way usually makes more
sense than the other.
I like the very first phrases to be before
the beat to highlight.
[MUSIC]
That second one I also
just fit in right before the beat.
The ones that are more like appoggiaturas.
Those I play on the beat.
[MUSIC]
And because they're appoggiaturas,
they get the emphasis, so grace notes that
come before the beat,
the main note gets the emphasis, these
appoggiaturas,
the grace notes, get the emphasis.
[MUSIC]