Variation 21

ID 5327

This variation is a good test of bow division, bow speed and up-bow spiccato.

Ševčík indicates that the first beat of bars 1, 3 and similar bars use the whole bow and the second and third beats use a small bow at the tip of the bow. Therefore your bow speed will differ considerably. It is also important to remember that as we change our bow speed we will often need to change the amount of bow friction and point of contact.

For instance the fast whole bow on the first beat is best played on the side of the hair, not too close to the bridge, with enough bow friction to make a resonant sound. Some vibrato on especially the first note of the bar helps with resonance. For the second and third beats we need a high amount of friction to play with a small amount of bow. In this place it may help to use an ‘active elbow’, that is raise the right elbow on the down bow to increase friction at the tip and lower the elbow on the up bow to reduce friction as you get closer to the heavier part of the bow.

In bar 2 (and similar bars) Ševčík indicates to lift the bow from the string already after the 1st note, so since it is relatively difficult to lift and place the bow with a resonant sound at the tip, make sure you use enough bow on the first note of bar 2 so that you get into a good position to lift the bow. As with all spiccato using the side of the hair is useful to help placing the bow back on the string after being in the air.

In these bars you can move through the bow back to the balance point to get ready for the next whole bow in bar 3.

To add to the brain challenge, in some of the spiccato bars Ševčík indicates different places where you should lift the bow.  For instance in bars 4, 20 and 24 it is after the second note. However in bar 16 you lift after the third note. These markings make the phrasing more interesting and help develop your bow control.

From bar 18 onwards Ševčík indicates that we use the middle of the bow. Here the bars of spiccato become almost standing spiccato since we do not have much bow to use!

Active elbow stroke
Standing spiccato