ein heldenleben fig 1





Fig 1 - passage at rehearsal fig 1



Fig 2 - passage at rehearsal fig 5


This figure appears throughout the piece - issues to consider include:-
1 string crossing vs shifts. the age old dilemma is present in just about every bar, for example the 3 after fig 5, more of that below
2 Left hand - tricky quick arpeggios
3 Right hand - The arpeggios cover a two octave range, from the bottom string to the top and the bowings normally used required uneven distribution, eg two bows in bar 3, one in bar 4. Successful combinations of weight, speed and position on the string are crucial, as well as smooth string crossings and bow changes.


How to prepare (long term) - first decide on fingerings. I play a conventional fingering for the passage after fig 1, but play an alternative to the norm in the C maj passage after 5. There are many ways to play these arpeggios, but three options for the third after fig 5 are:-



Fig 3 - three fingering options for the third bar of rehearsal fig 5


Opt 1 - the conventional version, requires a 1 string bar and I find it tricky to keep the last 3 semis in strict tempo

Opt 2 - avoids one string crossing by starting the semis hi up the D string. By using the harmonic A the player has more time to shift back for the E, as the harmonic will ring after the LH has moved back. I would like to use this fingering, but I struggle to get the A harmonic to speak quickly enough

Opt 3 - is a bit of both opt 1 and opt 2 that works for me and my bass


Bow - this passage has challenging bow distribution issues:-

first B flat in the 5th of 1 needs more weight, like a accent to make it speak, slow bow getting quicker as you move up the arpeggio

C 6th of 1 needs a slow bow for 3 beats, then the bow must travel for the semis in the final beat

7th bar has same bow distribution issues as the 6th


Long term prep:-

work out fingerings

practice each bar slowly

gradually build up tempo


Short term prep - in the audition warm up room:-

play slowly, around crochet = 84, gradually build up to performance tempo crochet = 100


Notes written on the part - I put reminders to myself to read in the audition just before I play:-

Bow speed - wt at start arpeggio, speed at end

space out triplets, dont rush

count thro white notes, dont drag
Relax and breathe
Extension - E flat


Tempo - crochet = 100 is slightly under tempo, but that is what I play

© 2016 Stuart Riley, all rights reserved