Hi, I'm Todd Ehle. This is a video for Virtual Sheet Music, and we are going to discuss the Meditation from the opera Thais by Jules Massenet. This is a late 19th century work. It's an incredibly romantic work, very popular by itself, not the opera, I mean. So this is one of those pieces that every violinist plays at some point. And so what my goal is here is to talk you through it. Maybe give you some ideas on, well, specifically on intonation, how to find your notes. Maybe some phrasing ideas. We'll discuss rhythm in a few spots, because it's challenging. Okay.

So first let's talk about the shifting in this piece. I find that most of my students are out of tune. If they're going to be out of tune, it's in a shift and they'll miss. So some of these things you might think are not that challenging, but perhaps you need to think it through. So let's go through several of them. I'm using Fabrizio Ferrari's edition available here on Virtual Sheet Music and it has the measures numbered. And if you get that, you can follow along with me. I'm going to start. If you look at measure six, going into seven, he has a shift from first to third position on the final note of measure six, an alternate fingering would be to see measure 43. It's the same thing, but he doesn't do the shift on the final note. There he shifts in 44. Now some people will say, and I think this is actually good.

Is that if you're going to do the same thing twice, do it a little different. The idea is to keep it fresh and be more expressive. There are a few things though that we can talk about with this shift. One is a couple of rules of shifting are shift on half steps and another would be shifting on bow changes. These are obviously rules we can break, but if you can do one or both of those, it, it can make the shift quieter. Assuming you want it to be quiet. Sometimes you turn it into an expressive device, but in bar six, if I do the shift from the C sharp to D I may hear a little noise And that doesn't really bother me, but I think I will shift on the downbeat of measure seven instead. So my fingering is all in first position through bar six. And then I shift up to a three on my F sharp. This is exactly what's written at measure 44. If you're not quite understanding me. So we could have shifted in a bow change and we can hide it completely. Now, what I want you to do is when you shift up, if you look at my hand frame, I had B to C sharp and D natural, but when I shift up, I'm going to an F sharp. So I have to think space-space, even if I don't keep them down my hand pattern, would've been whole-step, half-step. And when I go to third position, I have whole-whole.

So I really need to open the hand up through the shift. Now make sure you don't squeeze. Now, the next shift is coming right up. It's in measure eight on the down beat, which stays on A-string. So it's taking us to the fifth position there on that F sharp. So I have D sharp. This is the end of bar seven to fifth position. And I put my thumb right in the neck joint. And you should practice at plain F sharp and first position on the E-string and then in fifth position and see if you can hit it over and over. So that way you know exactly what you want to feel. Another important thing is that you need to be high enough or far, far enough around that you can reach your fourth finger. You don't want to do a shift and then have to come around. So I'm at measure eight, the last two notes, D sharp to E fifth position. Then the final two notes to measure eight. I have the quarter note Bs and it's a downward shift. So we start with our four down and then when we get down, we lift it. If you're not careful, you can make either a hole, which we don't want or a really gross or grotesque shift by dragging.

Too much. So you have to take some of the weight out of both hands. And you can make it gentle and very, very expressive. So if I do that again from the D sharp-E the end of bar seven, I think yes, bar seven. Now, when I get here to the end of bar nine, I think I'll do the same thing. I'm going to do the four 16th notes all in first position. And then I'm going to shift to third position on the E second finger though. Now there's a written or printed three over your F natural, and then a three on your F sharp. I'm going to do it. Instead of a printed three, I'm going to do a two. So I'm on the half notes here in bar 10. I'm going to do another two and turn it into the tiniest little slide right there. And then the arrival at 11, which is tricky because you're doing this crescendo, mezzo-forte to the frog, and then you have a piano, but you can't take your bow off the string. You just have to support the arm. Don't let your elbow drag too low and then delay the arrival.

Okay? The next big shift here, let's see bar 14. That's the C natural half note it's taking us into sixth position. So when you go to sixth position, you have to make sure that you can reach your four. You can see, I basically bring my hand flush with this corner rib right here. So O on D first finger D six position. You should practice hitting that over and over and over. Now do it from the C natural half natural bar 14. And you leave on the third finger. And while you're going up, you can actually lift the three out if you want, and then have your one there for the bow change. Okay. Now, when we get here F sharp, Think about where your one had been. The previous bar. I was here on an, a three is on the C natural in bar 14. I'm sorry. Yeah, bar 14. When I shift up, I am now thinking space space, even if I don't have them all down, But I have to move my one up now, a half step for the, what is it D sharp. This is bar 15. And then we have a shift to third position. And a lot of students, when they do this type of shift, they let their wrist buckle. So don't let your wrist collapse bring your one down to third position. And which would be over an A and drop your two over the B, which is our shift. Let's see the... [end excerpt]