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Violin sonata in e-minor I. Allegro ma non troppo


gprengel
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Hello,

the motif of the piece is in my view strong and very good-working. In the matter of harmony there were about two places when it seemed to me kind of strange and maybe a bit improvable, but in generally it was handled good. Personally I think, that it would be worth to look on some details. In the violin part was quite often this long legato which sometimes lasted for few measures and if I understood it well, it marks the phrase. But (if I interpreted it appropriately) I think it would be better to split these long legatos and create shorter phrases; in the context of the music this would make better sense in my opinion. I don't know how much do You want this to be interpreted freely, but I would suggest to leave at least few articulation marks. It is truth that the harmony changes makes the music going forward, but in the matter of melodies it sounds to me like a many variations and combinations of the main motif and few others, which is not bad at all (I use this too), but it's worth to cosider some more colourful  alteration; for example in some place when the main motif is being played again I would rewrite it so that it will be played on G-string. Or vary the articulation etc. Another thing I'd like to say is that I think You should go through the piano part and make some improvements; there are several places when the piano plays solo and only one voice, this is obviously not faulty, but if it's there too often, it could sound a bit empty as piano doesn't hold the tone for long and the quavers aren't in my view fast enough to fully compensate it. Sometimes there are also a bit unusual (for the piano accompainment) chords, such as fifth and nothing more (but as I'm saying I don't think it's necessarily bad, it's just strange). And my last remark is that You quite often double the main voice as the violin and the piano play the exactly same melody in the same octave. I don't know how do You think about colour here and if You explicitly want it in this way, but this doubling could be a bit dangerous, because whenever (only) two instruments play the exactly same thing at the same time it tends to sound a bit out of tune (and this is interestingly problem specificly for two instruments; if You have only one and it goes a slight bit low aor up it is almost unnoticable, if there are three and more it interferes all together and creates sound of group, but two is always very tricky). I don't think it is right thing to do to leave it all out, but reduce it a bit at least. So instead You could try for example to develop some countermelodies or omit it entirely and do just chords.

Best regards.

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22 hours ago, Bělásek said:

You quite often double the main voice as the violin and the piano play the exactly same melody in the same octave. I don't know how do You think about colour here and if You explicitly want it in this way, but this doubling could be a bit dangerous, because whenever (only) two instruments play the exactly same thing at the same time it tends to sound a bit out of tune (and this is interestingly problem specificly for two instruments; if You have only one and it goes a slight bit low aor up it is almost unnoticable, if there are three and more it interferes all together and creates sound of group, but two is always very tricky)

That's definitely the case for 2 violins, but I think it's less true for 2 instruments of different timbre such as Violin and Piano. And Violin and Piano timbre couldn't be much different. In fact, the Piano timbre is more similar to that of the cello than the violin. Violin, clearly audible 9th harmonic. Piano and Cello, second harmonic barely audible and third harmonic not audible at all.

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18 minutes ago, caters said:

That's definitely the case for 2 violins, but I think it's less true for 2 instruments of different timbre such as Violin and Piano. And Violin and Piano timbre couldn't be much different. In fact, the Piano timbre is more similar to that of the cello than the violin. Violin, clearly audible 9th harmonic. Piano and Cello, second harmonic barely audible and third harmonic not audible at all.

You are totally right, that this problem is not as big as I might have suggest and that the different timbres of instruments (such as violin and piano) doesn't create much off disturbance. However I ment it more in just some pitch-problem way, where I found it a bit difficult to players to hold the exactly same pitch when just two instruments are playing together. Neverthleless even this problem is perhaps not as big as it would've be for two instruments with non-still pitches, as two violins, two clarinets, two horns etc., since here the piano has the pitch still and the violin must just fine-tune itself. 

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Thank you, Belasek and caters, for your helpful hints! I will revise my piece accordingly!

You wrote " I would rewrite it so that it will be played on G-string"  - What do you mean by that? How can I do that? I thought the player automatically know best what string to use ...

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1 hour ago, gprengel said:

Thank you, Belasek and caters, for your helpful hints! I will revise my piece accordingly!

You wrote " I would rewrite it so that it will be played on G-string"  - What do you mean by that? How can I do that? I thought the player automatically know best what string to use ...

 

Well, of course that most of the time the interpreter is the one, who chooze which string and fingering to use, but in some cases (most of the time in solo violin repertoire) the composer actually specifies which string (and sometimes even fingering) to use (actually the violin offers many various techniques for left hand as well as for right hand, specificly bowing, and there is often nothing like "better technique to use", it is rather different, so it is completely adequate that composer determines one). The G-string recomposition I suggested is example of thing You can do to vary it a bit more; the violin has a very specific colour on G-string, it is really full, strong and it could be also very loud. In normal circumstances would some higher tones naturally've been played on higher strings, since it is generally easier, but if You want it to be played in this way, You should write "sul G" or any legible sign for it. However You can't write it too high, so it wouldn't sound good anymore and the players wouldn't be able to use some other techniques (I anticipate i. e. upbow staccato wouldn't sound good in combination with high G-string tones), if You (or he) wanted them to add. As an example I send a link to 3rd movement of Sibelius violin concerto, where the solo violin actually plays on G quite high melody in the begining, so You'll see what I mean, but of course that there are more examples. Generally I recommend to You to either check out possible violin techniques or if You have the opportunity to actually discuss it with violinist.

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