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Violin Lessons: Shostakovich - Symphony #5, 2nd Mvt 2 before Reh. 57 - 59

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The solo from the second movement of
Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony presents a
bit of a dilemma.
You can play this with a number of
different characters.
The point is that it has to have some
distinct character because it's,
it's a sarcastic piece or so many people
And so, things that sound simple should
sound very simple, almost overly so.
Things that are complex should be very
complex, and so
it's worth exploring a couple different
ways that you can play this solo.
And in fact, you should place it in the
context of an audition.
If you're taking an audition that's full
of very expressive and
very free solos, you may wanna play this
one straighter, more sarcastic.
If you've just come from something that's
very hard,
very rhythmic, you may want to use this
solo as a chance to be very charming.
So, here are the notes.
So already, there are a couple
of different ways you could go.
Some conductors like to change the tempo
quite a bit before the violin comes in,
making it very slow, very free.
However, I have had several Russian
colleagues tell me that that was not the
original intent of this solo,
and in fact there's no tempo change
written there,
so the tempo of the movement is quicker.
One, two, three, one, two, three, and I've
had them tell me in fact
that the words that have been passed down
through a couple generations,
for those first few notes are Papa Stalin,
Papa Stalin, Papa Stalin and
they're to be beaten off as, you know, he
was not the most popular figure.
you have
You just can't go half and half.
You can't do anything half way.
It needs to be very charming or else very
self-consciously sarcastic and serious.
Therefore, the glissandi that are printed
will need to sound different
depending on the context.
You could have something where the bow
pressure lightens
with the corresponding timing on the way
back down, or where the bow pressure
really bears down, along with the finger.
The glisses that come a little bit later
usually have a little time associated with
There's a harp crescendo that comes with
you that gives it a little,
a lighter touch.
Even if you've been playing the rest of it
more, more serious.
[SOUND] The little harp crescendo gives it
a child-like or humorous quality.
Now we arrive at a bar
where I often hear an accent.
But it's worth noting that the tempo
isn't marked until the next bar so
the A should be part of the relaxation.
Before you finish this solo, and
when you do, you need to hand it off to
the flutes,
so you can't really take time at the very
And there's the flute
taking the solo after you.