Shifting Away

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would have made this piece a bit easier to play.  But I am where I am, and as for developing skills on the violin, there’s never any time like the present.

Shifts aren’t new conceptually for me at all – they’ve been coming up for a while now, in several other pieces.  But it’s in this Vivaldi where I’m able to see what shifting is really all about – the technique seems particularly integral.  Greater familiarity with shifting is destined to help my music reading capabilities too, broadening my conception of where my fingers can go when I see a certain note on the page, indeed, freeing my brain from the whole notion that notes are defined based on which of my fingers lands precisely where.

This Vivaldi movement is three pages long, and I’m up to working on two of them (non-contiguous – as is our practice, we started with a difficult section that’s nearer to the end, and have gone back to work through from the beginning).  I really love this Vivaldi concerto – it’s truly beautiful, full of musical delights, and far and away the most complex and well-composed piece I’ve played to date.

Overall, I’m feeling great about my practice and progress – I’m making solid headway on intonation and vibrato.  My older pieces are sounding better and better – lately, I’ve returned to the Beethoven and the Boccherini minuets from Book Two.  The better I get at them the more of a treat they are to play.

Thanks for reading.


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