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Violin Lessons: Mozart - Concerto 4 - 1st Movement

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So almost all orchestra auditions include
a concerto by Mozart.
And what you need to remember when playing
a Mozart concerto was that Mozart
was primarily a vocal composer.
Of course he composed for all instruments,
but his lines are so
singing, they have such a connection to
the human voice.
And so you'll always have to remember that
when you're playing Mozart.
Tremendous variety and articulation, but
make it sing.
It sounds like the Queen of the Night Aria
or something.
Just very, it's, it's a feminine voice
here in the beginning, and
it sings, it also rings.
It's a very open key, D major, and so
accurate pitch is a part of that.
If you play a D that's really in tune.
Without vibrato even, you can hear that
the ring will continue.
So all the D's, all the A's, have to, have
to match and
they have to ring along with it.
It's useful to practice that opening in
fact, without vibrato, so
that you can get used to that ring.
Then the vibrato you add will just enhance
it, rather than killing that ring.
You wanna use a stroke that leaves the
string free, so rather than stifling it.
Now I can hear that ring continue, even
after I stop.
So, listen always in Mozart for things
that are very simple,
and things that decorate or enhance that.
So you have first.
That has its own little decoration, the
but here we have a variation.
A lot of times I hear those notes kind of
glossed over.
It's usually the last note or two in a
slur of four, that I don't hear.
So, you follow the line down, just as you
did here.
Now we have these slurs in groups of two.
How much do you articulate the groupings?
I think it's, it's useful to,
to observe the slurs you know, to play to
bowing that Mozart wrote.
And to think of those as syllables maybe,
or words,
but not to let them chop up the line.
Too often, I hear,.
Where the space between all the slurs is
the same and in fact,
it starts to chop it up into beats.
It's fine to articulate, as long as the
syllables make sense.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three,
that there's some variety there a
For the two bows that come right before
the 16th notes,
I like to keep those smoother, to lead
into the, the brilliance.
As you work your way to the top of that
scale very brilliant part there,
start using more bow, so that it increases
the sound, increases the ring.
And when you get to the top, the sound
always has to stay alive.
So those eighths similar to the ones at
the beginning.
Now in the in the next entrance, again,
let the sound always be alive,
even if you're quiet.
It's useful here, as in many places in
Mozart to, to follow the line,
when the notes go up, to go up and when
they come down to, to diminuendo.
It's not a hard and fast rule and it gets
repetitive if you do it all the time.
But if you don't know what else to do at
least, do something like that,
to show a little contour.
Now listen to these big intervals here.
Those are quite large intervals and they
shouldn't just be played normally.
For example he could have written,.
Of course that wouldn't really sound like
Mozart because he would make a bigger
deal, like he does.
Here as a vocalist, you're covering a lot
of ground so make it, make it impressive,
use the space between the intervals to
maximum effect.
Now for the 16th's here, it's great to
have some variety.
To have some on the strings, some off.
Whenever you play six fast 16th's like
that on the string,
you have to make sure the levels are
really accurate because
any inaccurate string crossings are gonna
show up as a mess or noise, so.
It's usually the notes on the G string, or
the lower two stings let's say,
that suffer,
in passages like that because the arm
isn't really getting to the proper level.
So, make sure that you can hear the notes
on all the strings.
For the ones off the string, the same
rules apply,
just get a little more vertical in the
Again, you have to have a really critical
ear to make sure that you're not getting
extra noises there.
That it really sounds brilliant and not
Now, you should still be expressive as I
said, even when it's piano.
And here you can use the husky quality of
the G string.
And for the contrast in dynamic there,
don't just play it louder, but
have almost a, a different feeling, a
different feeling in the rhythm,
if this really flows,.
Then that has to feel held.
There in the different octave and a
different string, it has to have
a different sound, it's not, not quite as
warm as, as it was on the G string.
Now, at the end of the exposition,
there's some tricky riding up high on the
E string.
It's useful to plan out the trills there,
not just to have them random.
To practice the same number of trills
there so that as the tempo goes a little
the trills speed up a little bit.
But it's nice to have those clean
so I replace the first finger on the E.
And I shift down on
the half step to the G sharp.
From the high A,
I prefer to reach down to a two,
and then a three on the C
sharp in third position.
Now, this last note that comes after the
trill always get abused.
So make it fit, but don't put an accent on
So that you end it not in weakness but
also not hitting it, that's a bad habit.
In the, in the development of this
there's a long section of very repetitive
In many editions, you'll see it printed
as echoes and that, that's one way to do
Varying the stroke
along with the dynamic.
That's not the only do it,
however because that can get a little
repetitive to have four echoes in a row.
So, you may make longer Forte sections,
longer piano sections.
have to be up to you.
You should base it, though, partly on the
harmony, so here's where listening to
the piece or playing with the piano track
may help you make the decision for you.
Now, in the cadenza, the main difficulties
in cadenzas in general are to, well,
the main difficulty is to make it sound
improvised, so if you'd like to write your
own, you have my, my blessing and my
license that's the best thing of all.
This cadenza's by Joseph U Aachen, and
it's a very commonly played one which is
why I wanted to demonstrate it.
It's a little fragmented, and so
what you have to do as the soloist is to
bring those fragments together.
You don't have to rush through the rests,
you have to use some of them to enhance
the contrast and enhance the tension and
use other rests, simply as stepping stones
that you play through them.
You connect the things on either side.
Too many performances, sound like they're
in fragments,
where the rests actually separate
everything in the same way.
You have a first statement
You can see where that comes from.
So there's no big surprise,
no big mystery there.
I wouldn't linger too long on the fermata.
That's all the same material,
so, these rests, again,
don't need to be too long and one, one
one bow can develop into the next.
So, when it comes time for a larger rest,
such as.
Here you actually have
formatas on the notes,
formatas on the rests and
those should be set apart.
They're sort of cries out, rather than a
continuing song.
Let me show you a part here with two
different voices going on.
And there's something
similar that happens at the end.
Make sure that you're able to bring out
both voices equally by moderating the bow
pressure on the two strings.
Now for three note chords in this
cadenza, you can play them
like don't first a toot
I think that has a nice sound to it, and
it reminds me of the beginning of the
piece more,
the articulation at the beginning,
more than it would if I rolled them.
I like the crispness of playing them,
all three notes at once.
So your job at the cadenza is to impress,
to amaze, but also to connect,
so that you keep people's interest for the
end of the movement.