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Elke Meier
I love the Telemann fantasies, and decided to at least work on the slow first movement of the #9. It was one that Beth introduced as a class piece at the workshop in Benslow last year. This is quite a bit above my head but it is so beautiful (especially the section that is so much over my head...) that I really want to be able to play it. A while ago Sonia posted it here and Beth gave her a response video which is extremely helpful. My problem, however, is that I do not have a transcription that would give me fingering. I tried to see how it is done in Youtube recordings, but can't follow the fingers. Then I tried to see how Beth does it, but I can't figure it out there either. Beth, in measure 11 you seem to start on a second finger. I tried it that way but find it very challenging - I run out of fingers there... So I tried to figure out a way how I could manage it. See the picture below. Would that also work? Why (and how) did you do it starting on a second finger? 
Just for an explanation of my markings: I found that I need to put two fingers down at once to get the tritone prepared (that is the marking 2+1 for example). Then it is not so difficult to jump across with the upper finger. 

Elke Meier
37 Responses
Posted: January 31, 2018
Last Comment: February 23, 2018
Replies

Elke Meier
Posted: February 23, 2018
THANK YOU, Beth! I definitely have NOT practiced it this way! It wouldn't have occurred to me. Now I can't wait to try it :). It makes a lot of sense! 

I have less problems hearing the tritone interval. It is the half steps that give me a problem. My hand is tense at this section so I scoot down a bit too much or not enough. The tritone itself is then normally in tune, but that doesn't really help if both the top and the bottom note are equally out of tune - don't know if I make sense here... 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 23, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content



Elke Meier
Posted: February 23, 2018
I had a wonderful breakthrough on this last night - after working on these measures now for weeks and trying every which way to get them in tune and to get my sluggish fingers to move. If my fingers moved in time the intonation went out the window. Well, but most of the time both aspects were difficult. 

I have played just these two measures really COUNTLESS times! One way I had practiced this was just playing the melody line to even get all the accidentals really in tune. That worked really well as long as I left out the double stops. As soon as I added the double stops again it became difficult. I was ready to give up on it many times because it is just over my head! But then I thought: I DID make a lot of progress on this already!! In the beginning I remember that I had to place each finger separately - painfully slow! It took about half a minute to get through this measure. Compared to that I can do it really well already!! But I wondered how many more weeks it would take to get it in time, without hesitation between figures and also in tune...

And then last night it hit me: What if I use the lowest finger of each figure (mostly the first) kind of as an anchor finger? Yes, I definitely need to put two fingers down at the same time to be able to hop over for the double stop. But the first finger I can put down during the dotted eighth note - it has much much more time to find its place, and it can stay where it is while the second finger does the hopping.

My hopes are up again that I can get this passage right before next Christmas... :)


Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 2, 2018
Thanks Diane. My Violin is only a baroque copy so nowhere in the price range of the one you linked to. I think I have Eudoxa on it but they are quite old. I donít think I can justify the cost of new strings because I donít play it that much. I think what Iím saying is donít get your hopes up for what it will sound like!

Dianne
Posted: February 2, 2018
Not having a baroque instrument, maybe someone else can answer this from experience, but there is a string review for gut strings here, and this old baroque instrument seems to be strung with Eudoxas. Each gut string seems to vary from warm to bright. Can hardly wait to hear your instrument, Sonia!

Found these for baroque instruments as well. This description was interesting as well. Maybe you can let us know how you end up stringing your baroque violin. It looks complicated!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 2, 2018
What type of gut strings are best for baroque tuning? 

Dianne
Posted: February 2, 2018
Hi Inge, Yes, I see a C natural and I play a "B".


Posted: February 2, 2018
Diane, just to be clear: "Agreed. Also, I do play a B natural and not a C natural there."  Do you mean with "B natural", the note you would hear as B natural in modern standard A=440 tuning, but which ends up being called C in Baroque tuning, which also gives you the fingering for that C because all your strings are tuned down? If so I follow you.

One of my sons has an extreme "perfect pitch" - that is, he recognizes pitches as they truly are (seeing the apple as red, while most of us relative pitchers are colour blind).  I have a feeling that you have that ability, by how you're writing.

Dianne
Posted: February 2, 2018
Agreed. Also, I do play a B natural and not a C natural there. The intervals do not change when tuning down a semitone. I wish to thank you Beth for your help, as I have discovered Baroque tuning. I just love the warmth and textures conveyed when it is performed this way. That was what I had hoped to convey- my excitement for my discovery of the Fantasias in this beautiful genre.


Posted: February 2, 2018
Adding to what Elke wrote.  (If this confuses rather than helps, let me know and I'll delete it)

We have the precise pitch of any sound, and then we have how pitches relate to each other (relative pitch).  So for example a major scale has intervals that begin: note (whole tone) note (whole tone) note (semitone) etc.  C(wt)D(wt)E(st)F(wt)G... and this will be the same relationship for any key: D(wt)E(wt)F#(st)G....   Intervals work the same way.  A perfect 5th is always the same distance between two pitches, and always has the same quality. In that passage we have a series of "tritones", which is an uncomfortable edgy interval that wants to resolve (and finally does).  As soon as that one note is played as C# instead of C, the tritone interval (and edginess) is lost.

Relative pitch is "the ball that is always to the left of the other ball", while "perfect pitch" is "the red ball" (which is always to the left of the blue ball, but you don't care because you can recognize it as the red ball).  If A = 440, your ear is able to hear the 440 hz pitch.  It will be red, and that shade of red.  If A = 435 and you have that kind of hearing, then that note and all the other notes will "sound off" to you.  In relative pitch, as long as the notes are still in the same relationship to each other, your world is fine.

So in Baroque tuning, the "colour" of C# will now be more like the colour of C, because it will have a lower pitch.  But in music we deal with relative pitch, so the distance between that note, which we are still calling C because of where it is on the staff and how it relates to the new A, that distance will still be the same.  The new C may sound more like the old B; the new C# may sound more like the old C etc.  But the relationships will be the same.  We'll still get a tritone with the "C" we get in the Baroque tuning.

Frieda
Posted: February 2, 2018
I was just listening to Manze... really enlightening, so beautiful!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 2, 2018
Yes Elke, I agree, thatís what I thought also:)

Elke Meier
Posted: February 2, 2018
A note to the baroque tuning: You would still play a C#, no matter whether you tune your violin to 440 or to 415. You make a decision: I want my A to have so many Hertz. And depending on that decision you name all the other notes. It is true that the sound of the note in question would then be what we "ordinarily" would perceive as a C natural, but one has to be aware that the top note in that case would also be half a note lower and be what you would "ordinarily" perceive as an F natural - which still would make the interval a perfect fourth. So when your violin is tuned to baroque tuning you would still have to play something different from what Telemann has noted to be able to get the tritone interval.



Posted: February 1, 2018
Adding: I was just singing the lower eighth notes in m. 10 and I'm hearing a descending natural minor, which also makes sense.


Posted: February 1, 2018
I got curious about the notation question.  My music/piano teacher regularly does analysis with me and we were wondering what to look at next.  I haven't gone over this with him yet, but  in the part around measure 10, if you were to see modern symbols, you could get a descending sequence E7 D7 CE7 B7 resolving to A7-D before the beginning repeats.  The seven chords also give you the series of tritones: D7 would have a C, not C#. So C natural makes sense and maybe that's why it "sounds right" and C# does not.

I'm curious about the bar lines, because when it the beginning repeats, it does so in the middle of the measure.  I ran into this with "Es ist ein' Ros'" (Lo How a Rose) and discovered that that piece was written at a time when modern time signatures were still being invented, and there were several versions of note values and such trying to deal with it.  Telemann was Baroque but then he was also a contemporary of Bach. Actually if I were to renotate it into 6/8 time, then the refrain would fall on beat 1 of a new measure.

Dianne
Posted: February 1, 2018
Hi Sonia, Yes, that's what I did. Would love to hear it!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 1, 2018
Thanks Diane. Do you just tune down your violin to A=415? Are the rest of the strings tuned to perfect 5ths? I have a baroque copy Violin, so I will see if I can tune that to the proper tunings. Not sure what state the gut strings are in....

Dianne
Posted: February 1, 2018
Hi Sonia, with the Baroque tuning, the whole piece would be tuned down a half step. This takes away the bright sound of this piece played on modern instruments (tuning to A 440). The Baroque tuning gives the piece a warmer sound filled with exquisite colors, and I was won over immediately to the Baroque context with the Telemann Fantasia. I would like to play this piece with that tuning, since I am not having any kind of exam on this as you are. Playing the C natural surely fixes the issue on the modern instruments- sounds great and you did that naturally!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 1, 2018
What a great discussion!

Thanks Beth and Elke. I will take your advise :)


Wow what a great place this is to have this discussion. How interesting to see his actual works. Why would the baroque tuning make it sound ok (excuse my ignorance), isn't the issue the blend with the other note F#?

I'd love to post progress here. I'll be trying the alternative fingerings this weekend. I did start by playing a C nat but then saw it was written sharp so had to retrain, will need to go back to original way!


Sonia


Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 1, 2018
That's a great idea, Frieda. Would love to hear everyone's Telemann here!

Frieda
Posted: February 1, 2018
Thanks Beth!
Hť... maybe we can post our progress on this one! I canít wait to perform my fantastic final chord 😳😀!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 1, 2018
Frieda, listen to some of the Baroques specialists: Andre Manze and Rachel Podger. Both no iTunes. They use almost no vibrato. I could totally see using a hint of it on the longer notes, but none on the 16ths and double stops.

Frieda
Posted: February 1, 2018
A question Beth... J.P. Poyard plays this one with vibrato... I struggle with it.. how much, where... Have you any tips or advice?

Frieda
Posted: February 1, 2018
...And the fingerings... the first three triplets are like the fingerings of Elke and Beth, but then I stayed in first position. Iím going to change them immediately, looks so much better!

Frieda
Posted: February 1, 2018
The same here.... I played all the time a C natural... When I play new pieces I always listen to performances... and it felt right that way...

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 1, 2018
I found one performer (Elfa Run Kristinsdottir) who plays it as a C# and it sounds weird. She looks young ;)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 1, 2018
Sonia, I'm guessing the Urtext doesn't have the C nat. which is why all the editions don't either. Pure conjecture on my part, but Telemann just might have overlooked it and left it out. My rational is that in every professional recording, the soloist plays a C nature. I found out on iTunes, that passage occurs almost always in the allotted time period to preview the piece. Ha! it occurred at the very end of the Andrew Manze recording! He also plays a C nat. He's such a big name in the Baroque violin world, and a true scholar. I would impress the panel of your exam and tell them before hand of the note correction and why you're changing it.

Elke Meier
Posted: February 1, 2018
Hmm, he really has a C# there - I still like the C natural better... 


Elke Meier
Posted: February 1, 2018
That was indeed interesting! I noticed that I had played a C natural without even noticing it... I figured that what makes this section interesting are the tritones. So I played all tritones... :) If you played a C# there it would be a perfect fourth - that would break all the nice musical tension in this section. 

Sonia, you could tell the examining board that you think this is a typo and explain to them why you think that and why you changed it - then it is on purpose not an accidental wrong note.

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 1, 2018
Interesting what you say re the C# Beth, since mine is taken from the AMEB exam I donít think I dare change it as they may think Iíve played a wrong note!

I will check the Urtext copy when I get home.

Sonia

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 31, 2018
Ha! You all are getting a taste of the real world. This is what we go round and round about all day long! Everything posted is viable. Ultimately, the fingering you choose accomplishes the two goals: what's easiest and sounds best, and what translates the best musically.  

I do Elke's fingerings, except one small difference at the end.

Also, I think the C# is supposed to be a C nat. It just doesn't work as a C nat as it veers from the sequence. I also listened to professional recordings to verify, and the soloists I heard had changed it to a C nat.



Elke Meier
Posted: January 31, 2018
Hey, you guys are wonderful! It is too late to try it all out tonight, but I can hardly wait for tomorrow to check out your suggestions! I have a very easy solution to the last chord which I put into practice now every time I play it: Put a long pause before the chord so you can sort out your fingers :) :) :) 

Frieda
Posted: January 31, 2018
...and yes, that final chord... 😫!!!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: January 31, 2018


This might be easier to read

Frieda
Posted: January 31, 2018
I played the Siciliana today... I really love these pieces... (thanks Sonia!)
I have other fingerings, I will post them later... going to sleep now...

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: January 31, 2018
Hi Elke
See below. I use 1st position then 2nd and it seems to work though is tricky. The final chord in this piece is difficult as well. A combination of moving fingers up the strings, while keeping others in position but moving them across to cover 2 Strings! My finger tips are quite small and have trouble stopping 2 strings simultaneously.

Let me know if you find any miracle fingerings!

Sonia

Vayia UK
Posted: January 31, 2018
Not sure how helpful this is, it is what I have found on the public domain: