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Violin Lessons: Mozart - Concerto 5 - 1st Movement

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The A major Mozart Concerto starts,
unlike most other concertos that you'll
with a slow introduction.
So this is your chance to show all of your
sound, all of your control of your sound.
Sound should always develop.
It should never stay still, sort of, I
I've been told it's like a shark.
They have to keep eating or die, and
the sound has to keep changing or
developing or die.
So in addition to all the sort of good
hygiene things you can do
to make smooth bow changes, keeping things
nice and stable,
matching the sounds at the end and the
beginning of the bow.
There's a certain point in each note where
it just feels right to change the bow.
Because of what the sound is doing.
The sound can develop only so far on each
And then it's time to change bows to
continue that development,
whether it's up or down.
Better to change a little too early, than
a little too late, because by changing
late, you expose a bit of stale sound
that, that's not going anywhere.
Now the string crossings have to go into
that too.
When, wherever you choose to go,.
Over onto the A string, and it's usually
on that G natural,
which is a surprise note.
You have to decide how much
you want the sound to change.
Because it's going to change somewhat,
going over to the other string.
So do you want to bring attention to that,
do you want to make it blend into the E
That's up to you.
I think it's a good chance to show a
different sound, but
it shouldn't be a sudden change.
Has to be prepared.
And because of this slow tempo, all these
little details are brought out mo,
more fully.
So, any accents that you make.
Any bows that, that have sound that dies.
People are going to hear that more than
they would in a faster section.
Now, there are rests coming up.
And, you need to build through these.
The exact amount of crescendo you do
doesn't exactly matter, but there should
be some connection between them, that,
that the music doesn't come to a stop.
So that, that has to do with how you
release your bow into the rest.
In fact, since there are basically no
dynamics marked here,
you have to make your own shapes.
This is your, as this is probably the
first thing you'll play in an audition if
you choose to play Mozart 5.
You really have to show how intelligent
you are and
how natural you can make things sound.
Now, you have the option to a cadenza at
the end of this introduction.
In fact on, on almost any fermata in
Mozart, I suppose it's your option,
but this one it's it's often done.
So you can play one or not however you,
however you like.
Now there are a few different options for
fingerings at the Allegro.
You have to make them work.
With the music.
So, can't just be for your, your own
Here I like to change,
shift with the bow changes
as I find that's cleaner.
And, I, I like to have.
A nice one, four feeling there because
that's the most natural frame for me.
So, the trills there at the allegro,
it's really essential that you work out
how many trills you're gonna do.
There's probably not time for much more
than a couple turns.
So you'll need to make sure that you
practice that in tempo.
So now I see there's only time for
two turns, and it's okay to practice this
in, in,
steps basically and then join those
together one by one.
So just those fragments that I was
And it's good to do that in tempo,
basically, so
that when you join them together, you're
already playing the, the passage in tempo.
Slow practice can be great.
Sometimes it's better to practice
fragments or pieces, but in tempo.
Now to get those 16th notes clean, you
have to be aware of how the tri,
how the slurred notes are relating to the
separate notes, and
you'll have to navigate the string
crossings as well.
That's why you practiced all those
variations in the Kreutzer etudes, right?
Because you can do, you can mix the
slurred notes and
the separate notes easily and it's no
The string crossings combined with that
can sometimes make it difficult to play
cleanly so listen very carefully to those.
Coming up, we have three mini arpeggios.
The first one I like to do in fourth
The second one,
I like to reach down for
a one on that G-sharp so that I have three
notes on the E string.
In the last arpeggio,
I like to do all on the E string
with a one, two, four.
I, I find that that's more brilliant and
it's easy to find that note in third
Now for the very for the end of this
first big section,
I like to reach back with a one for the D.
Before going down to second position to
You could just as easily cross over there.
That's certainly easier to play in tune.
I, I like the brilliance of the E string
enough to want to make the shift down to
second position.
Now the character of this second subject,
I find pretty rustic, and
then it alternates with a sweeter playing.
So, if you're gonna go that route,
you need to have real bow on those eighth
Because after all, that's just a
decoration of 8th notes,
those 16ths are just decorations.
So let your articulation come from that..
For this passage, I like to start down-bow
twice and then the third time up-bow.
And always, the third time is different, a
little, little longer,
a little more, giving, let's say.
The, the 16th note passage, I think it's
fine to have as many open E's as you like.
The open E gets a bad wrap sometimes but
in a brilliant passage like this it's
has the perfect sound, and the string
crossings help the articulation.
So I'll leave that up to you.
But the character of the slurs that
alternate with that,
that has to be as smooth as possible.
That's what can be difficult about Mozart,
that, that the constant switching of
It's very operatic, and very vocal, so you
wanna bring that out.
My fingering for the end,
Trying to shift on the half steps as much
as possible.
I reach back for that B with the first
Just going down for the low B.
Now at the development, the sound has to
have a different character.
This is the most turbulent that we've had
Those rests really need to feel like
interruptions that, that you're,
you're breathless trying to get out what
you're saying.
Now, there's an interesting passage that
leads back
in to the tutti which eventually leads to
the recap.
And it's often played as an echo.
My problem with that is that the tutti
that comes in right after that
is quite powerful.
So I'd like to lead into that tutti in a
strong way.
Therefore I would do a reverse, I would
play the first time weaker.
And then, the, it makes sense leading into
that tutti.
The return to the theme, is, is different.
There are different editions some have a
The newer editions get rid of the B-sharp
and, and have a natural.
But, in any case, there has to be a
natural way of getting back to the recap.
You don't want to be left
with a weird retard, and
I think the simpler the better, and
just basically in tempo and a nice
crescendo into the theme.
Then it brings you back in style and in
the right character.
Now the end of the movement before the
that gets a little hairy up high.
So, I'll share with you my fingering.
So I shift up to first finger on F-sharp.
After the top four notes, I'm gonna reach
back with a first finger.
So, the sets of four start with a two,
one, two, one.
Of course you're not gonna hit that last
it's gonna develop nicely out of the
Now this cadenza is all about
transitioning to different characters.
And, to a large extent, you get to pick
what character these sections are in.
The thing is, you have to know when you're
going to transition to a new character,
or when you're going to close the
character out that you have,
and then surprise everyone with a new one.
Often the quicker notes, the 16th notes,
are the vehicle through which you
transform the characters.
So every time I have one of those runs,
I use it to take at least another step in
the direction I'm going.
It's, something like that that happens
where a stringendo is marked in this,
in this cadenza.
So the worst thing you can do in a, in a
crescendo or a stringendo is to peak too
early, because then the end of the
transition is, is very weak.
It's much better to get things going
slowly and do a lot more of it at the end.
That goes for both crescendos and
And here we have both, so really save it
for the top.
Now the, the double stops that close out
the cadenza.
Here I put down a one, four.
And then for the, the sixths there, I just
slide back and forth with a one, two.