Evva Mizerska - cello expert

How to approach Etude Op. 101 No. 34 by Sebastian Lee

Learn Etude Op. 101 No. 34 by Lee for cello solo

In this video, Prof. Mizerska teaches you how to study and practice the Etude Op. 101 No. 34 by Sebastian Lee, which helps to master the quick re-take of the bow, often needed in the cello repertoire.

Released on September 7, 2022

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Video Transcription

Hello, and welcome after the summer break to the study, challenge number seven. We just heard study number 34 from Opus 101 by Sebastian Lee. These are quite easy studies but useful for practicing some basic technical concepts. Now, today's study was after the quick retake. And in this particular case, you need to do it because you have a longer bow with a short slur, followed by a rest and another upbeat, and then rest again, another upbeat. And those upbeats, obviously, they are shorter than the slurs of two notes. And if you don't retake the bow, you will end up always getting further and further from the heel ... and so on. So you need to retake the bow.

This is very useful, not just for this sort of bowing, although that articulation will find very often in chamber music, particularly cello parts. So it's extremely useful just for that sort of writing. But the quick retake is used in many different situations, for example, when you have a phrase, and you simply need to change where you start the next one, like ... And then you move the bow closer to the heel. It's up bow and then down bow, but still, you want to start closer to the heel.

Or you have a rest and you simply want your phrase breathe, it sounds nicer to let your string ring. For example ... Even if you play it technically correct, if you play the right rhythm, you simply wait on the string, it doesn't breathe as much as ... You let your string breathe, it makes the music sound obviously better.

Also last thing, for example, this sort of quick retake is used in the dotted rhythm when you have down, up, down, up, down. So if you're playing ... Again, you are going to get further and further from the heel, so you will need to quickly retake ... So for all these types of articulations, your quick retake of the bow will be very useful.

Now, a challenge is not to finish that previous motif or previous phrase in haste in anticipation of that quick movement of the hand. You will need to sort stay very calm until the end of the motif, as if you had all the time in the world, and then take your full bow, and then very quickly come closer to the beginning, stabilize your bow, and then start a new note. So that moment of silence, actually, lots of things are happening there, and you need to practice it carefully. So in slow motion ... calmly, done quickly ... and you definitely want to time ... The moment you reach the string, you stabilize your bow. It's useful to do it with a metronome. I'm going to put my metronome on 85, so sort of medium tempo. And the click on the second beat is the moment where you will be landing on the string and stabilizing the bow, before you start the next note, so ...

It can happen a little bit later, but more or less in that time, just enough time to finish the previous ... to not nicely, very quickly move the bow and prepare so that your bow doesn't bounce. If you don't stabilize it first, the chances are is going to do that. So that's why ... First prepare and then start. So timing it with metronome is really perfect. You can increase your tempo as you become more comfortable. And it would be actually the same, for example, for your dotted rhythms, when you have to playing ... You also time it in a similar way. So again, timing with metronome is really, really useful. And don't think it can happen just the last fraction of a second. You kind of need slightly more time because especially before you become more comfortable with it. So I hope you will find it useful and happy practice. We'll see you next month for our next study, challenge number eight.
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