William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

Let's Practice Lalo Symphonie Espagnole

How to approach and practice Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole

In this first video of the new "Let's practice" series, prof. Fitzpatrick gives you tips on the beautiful Symphonie Espagnole by Lalo.

Released on August 3, 2022

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

So this video is the first of my "let's Practice" section from my Videos for Violinists series. It explores different ways to practice the arpeggio at the opening of Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole.

Now, there are of course the obvious way's to practice this arpeggio, using rhythms and working with a metronome but I though I would share with you some alternative possibilities, some alternative approaches to practicing this excerpt.

So let's start with an over view of the passage. First I should play it in its entirety in tempo to get an idea of what needs to be worked on.

Alright that done, I want to get a closer look, so I'm going to break it down. As its an arpeggio I'm going to use what I have learned practicing arpeggios, that is sort of practicing it by octaves. In this case 3 octaves. So I will practice the 1st 2 notes of each octave.

And now I will add the next note, so I will play the 1st 3 notes of each octave.

So having done that I now want to work a little on the right hand, I want to work a little on the string crossings. For this I need to use the 2 notes involved in those string crossings. What don't we start with the first one which is the B flat to D etc. I need to pay special attention to my elbow. Be careful that my elbow is leading my hand.

So now I will divide the run of 16 notes plus one into two parts of 8 notes each, minus the one. I will begin by putting a fermata on the first note of each series of 8 notes. Then on the second note of each of those 8 note series, etc ...

Now I will do a series in which I start with a certain number of notes, in this case 2, and then add a note until I reach the end of the passage

So now I want to work on the shifts found in the excerpt. First I want to find out where I'm going... I do thus by playing the note to shift to in position then using the fingering.

Now I'm going to put the shift into context by adding notes around the shift. It's like building outwards again to give context to the shift that I was working on.
By the way the time I take between each attempt is to think about, to try and recognize how to adjust what I'm doing to better fix the problem.

Here is one that I find cute, it's to start on different notes.

And let's see what happened... if it got better?

So these are a few possible alternative ways to approach this passage or other passages similar to it. I really believe that practicing is about using your imagination!
Please take care and please be safe!
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

KIMBERLY OURLIAN * VSM MEMBER * on August 24, 2022 @4:45 am PST
i took your advice while practicing this movement. im able to play it in tempo alone but when i try to add the accompaniment, my fingers get mixed up on the bow shift up,then . i tried practicing the d and e just before the bow shift and it went smoothly, then i added the whole run, and it was fine, then i added the accompaniment, ugh.. frustrating. isit just me or is the first movement hard to play with the accompaniment?
William - host, on August 24, 2022 @9:41 am PST
Hi! Glad you figured it out! But what accompaniment are you using? Live or recorded?
KIMBERLY OURLIAN * VSM MEMBER * on August 24, 2022 @8:16 pm PST
William - host, on August 25, 2022 @8:45 am PST
Thats difficult unless you can change the speed??? Can you?
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