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Dianne
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Hi, Here is my progress on the 1st page of Gavotte from Mignon. I'm just getting familiar with the bow strokes and rhythms, and this is my 3rd day w/it. Challenging piece!! It's been a while since I posted a video, and many have joined since then also, so hello to all, and comments are welcome.
Dianne
14 Responses
Posted: March 18, 2017
Last Comment: March 22, 2017
Replies

Dianne
Posted: March 22, 2017
Hi Nick, thanks for the great feedback! Yes, my bow hold is too spread out doing these off the string bow strokes, and I noticed that as well. When the fingers are closer together, they are definitely more relaxed. As the muscles in my hand get used to these strokes, I was hoping to get the fingers closer together. It's coming along, but it's slow progress each day. Nope, not the last piece yet, 3 more to go in Book 2. :) The last piece in Book 1 is on my review list though-still polishing that one-very hard piece! Once again, thank you so much for the comments on my video, they, and all here, are so helpful and appreciated.

Nick
Posted: March 22, 2017
Actually, I think I got my gavottes mixed up, this is not the last piece of book 1, is it? I am practising for Benslow's music (much tougher than expected!) and have totally forgotten about Suzuki! And Jaime's playing Gossec's gavotte not mignon, although I can't see Jaime's video, anyone know what's going on there?

Nick
Posted: March 21, 2017
Dianne,
I love this piece!
Very nicely played! You took the much braver decision than I did to play the off-the-string opening IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOW! i didn't have this courage (and still don't!). I wanted to emulate Beth's performance of this but can't do this middle of the bow off-the -string technique with accuracy...
Beth's feedback to you reminded me of the guidance she gave me, basically the same advice regarding elongating the dashed notes. No 'half-measures' i.e  no tentative bow strokes, it's really nice to hear Beth really sounding out those spicatto notes clearly! If you see Beth's performance, she really goes for it in the mddle of the bow in the beginning i.e bold strokes, and then delicately contrasts with the smoother stroke.
My teacher at the time wanted me to play all dashed parts off-the-string staccato and then shorter spiccato for the fiddly bit (the part which you and Beth play smoothly on-the-string), which posed a problem for me. Beth advised i used a longer stroke for my notes in the middle of the bow too, which proved difficult, i just couldn't control the bow - it was flying off at tangents from the strings! Realising that i lacked the control to do this, I decided to achieve the 'contrast' of the two "operatic voices" by playing the dashed notes at the frog/heel (heavier stroke) and then moving to the balance point for the fiddly-bit (spicatto). I think the 'nicer-sounding' version is the way Beth plays (it follows the opera version very nicely and sounds like you would sing it) and you play it this way too i.e. trying to achieve longer strokes in the middle of the bow.

Your bow arm mechanics as always, look really smooth, giving a little 'swing' in thhevshoulder for sounding those spicatto notes even clearer would make a difference to these short notes.....your arm geometry looks spot-on.
If i was pressed to offer a critique.... it seems that you are using quite a wide grip of the bow and too stiff a grip. This will reduce the ability of your right hand to 'absorb' the changes from off-the-the-string strokes and your spicatto will suffer, especially as you have to ready your bow for smooth landing to on-the-the-string stroke which comes straight after. i found that if i make the last spicatto note less 'bouncy' my landing is on the string is smoother for the on the string strokes. Always with soft and supple right hand fingers....

 My current teacher always cups her fingers around my right hand and if she feels if they 'give way' i.e. if they collapse a little, she says i am holding the bow correctly i.e. with the correct 'grip force', if they are too stiff, she tells me to 'unblock' them i.e. loosen the grip..

 It's just fascinating to see how people play the same piece (Jaime's playing it too!) and it's interesting to share our experiences on the same piece of music and different ways we interpret it!
I think alot of us will keep revisiting this piece for many years because there are so many ways to play it and there are so many technical aspects to learn from the differing ways to play it. i love this piece for this reason and also because it's such an interesting piece aurally and technically. it gives us great scope to improve our technique. i always revisit Mignon when i learn a new bowing technique in Wohlfahrt, this piece always changes in the way I play it as skills develop and are acquired - it can be played in so many different ways because of this! (for example, at 0:17  just before the trill, try lifting the bow and let the last note ring out before trilling!).
It's also the last piece in the book which is always a great milestone to achieve!
Great job Dianne!


Dianne
Posted: March 21, 2017
Hi Andreas, thank you! I have fixed that spot pretty well finally, and I find that I can keep my 1st finger down when I am coming right back to it-that helped a lot.

I'm now working on p.2, and bringing p. 1's tempo up a bit.

Andreas
Posted: March 21, 2017
Wow very good Dianne :D Your intonation and the little trills are great. I smiled at 1:00 because I struggled a lot at the same spot ;)

Mary Freeman
Posted: March 20, 2017
Your bowing is a lot more smooth and relaxed and your intonation is great
I can tell you have been working hard;-)

Dianne
Posted: March 20, 2017
Thank you so much, Beth & Maria for your kind comments! Beth I will definitely work on those two things, and I appreciate it so much. I am so excited to get into the practice room today and work on these things.

Maria
Posted: March 20, 2017
Such a cheerful piece Dianne, you played and told the story most effectively/completely.

I truly 100% enjoyed listening to it especially your beautiful thrills-spectacular I would say.

An emerald level performance Dianne!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 19, 2017
Very nice job, Dianne!  Your finger action, especially on the trills is stellar. They just sparkled. 

 One of the hardest techniques in that piece is going from the staccato notes to the on-the-string  detache  notes following.  I think you're doing that quite nicely.  One suggestion though, would be to make the quarter notes longer. Most of them have dashes, probably put there because there is a tendency to make them short. Be careful in measures 23 25 with those B flat. Think of pulling your first finger back more from the base knuckle. Brava!

Dianne
Posted: March 19, 2017
Elke, Ann, Jaime, CC, thank you for your kind comments on my video! I am incorporating all suggestions, and surely this piece will occupy my time for a long time to come! These off the string bow strokes @ the middle of the bow are all new to me, and I am enjoying learning them very much. One of the things that I look forward to is being able to use more bow, and surely rhythms will help in that later passage.

CC
Posted: March 19, 2017
Very nice trills!! Such a fun song!! 

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: March 19, 2017
Straight bowing, good intonation, good use of bow, relaxed fingers, good shoulder posture.... all these things I see.... WELL DONE Dianne!!!
My teacher wants me to do ALL of Suzuki 2 book with him.... that means eventually ill be returning to Gavotte Mignon as well! Looking forward!

You are doing SUPERB! Always a pleasure listening to your performances! :0)

Ann Meeker
Posted: March 19, 2017
Hi Dianne!  Nice to "see" you.  I don't have any critique to offer because that Gavotte is several pieces ahead of where I'm at, but I like the good "sink into strings" sound that you have and also the clean-quick trill notes.  Nice!

Elke Meier
Posted: March 19, 2017
Congratulations, Dianne! Wow, your bowing has changed! I remember it much more forceful from previous videos! This was really good! The only "forcefulness" I can still hear is in the beginning notes. Are you aware that Beth made a video response to my first try on this one? It addresses exactly that issue. I can't believe that was already last summer. I am not any further with this piece - last autumn was not very conducive to violin practice and I guess there is no way to go back to Suzuki before the workshop in May is over... But your post made me look forward to continuing with this piece :).