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Full day of teaching, so had to take a shortcut to get the hands in shape during the time I had for myself to practice! This is the second exercise from Dounis’ Daily Dozen - rediscovering that natural elasticity in the hand / springiness in the joints. Played softly and trying to execute with as much rhythmic and motor precision as possible. Focusing on the active lifting of the fingers and their gentle, passive placement on the fingerboard. Additionally, coordination and supple shifting (guided by the flexibility wrist and adjustability in contact point between finger and string) are tested.

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Back to Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata no. 3 - final section to mull over is the very opening - at its deepest, it is a meditative monologue it seems. It’s marked “lento molto sostenuto”, the character of which seems to manifest itself in our smallest joints, starting from the fingers. Sustaining the tone requires sensitivity in feeling the contact between the bow hair and the string (lower half) and the fingers “massaging” the bow stick (upper half).

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But, what for me is a bit trickier is the left hand - in order to help the bow sustain, the left hand must maneuver between double stops seamlessly, anticipating a bow change or a string crossing. The inherent springiness of the suspended strings help with feeling the different pressure gradients the fingers have against the fingerboard.

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I decided to apply some of Dounis’ rhythmic variants on such double stops, as they help target not only lateral movement but also transverse movement (across the fingerboard).

Rhythms are found on page 177 in the Dounis collection.

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PS - excuse my bemused expression at the end of the first clip... my bow knocked against the wall slightly 😅

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“Molto moderato quasi lento” from Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata no. 3 - one more piece added to the puzzle. One of the biggest benefits of practicing in reverse order, especially in a piece like this where climax is stacked upon climax, is that the limits are tested first. Reserve in its literal sense is activated when needed, and most certainly, the biggest amount of reserve is called for at the very end of the sonata.

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In this particular section, meanderings in harmony require meanderings in the body’s responses - constant fluctuation between harmonic suspension and quasi resolution is manifested in bodily effort and release.

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Coming together... save the introduction, which will soon be tackled!

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