I'm trying to play Der Erlkonig by Ernst, and in the first lines it seems possible, but you get to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th lines, I lose all hope in being able to play the piece.
To start, a violin has 4 strings. G, D, A, and E. these strings are placed on a curved bridge, because otherwise, you wouldn't be able to play the D and A strings without playing all the other strings at the same time.
To explain why playing 3 strings at the same time seems impossible to me, imagine the 4 strings of the violin, touching the bridge. imagine 4 points, where the strings touch the bridge. Then, connect these points with lines. (you should end up with 3 lines). These lines are the possible positions that the bow can go to play more than one string at a time.
Can you make one straight line that connects 3 of the points? I cannot see how to do this. I'd have to make a curved line. But the violin bow does not bend enough to follow that line.
I'll tell you how it is normally done on the violin. You simply rotate the bow while you play, so you hit 3 or 4 strings, for a very short duration. This method only works for short, singular notes, as you're not actually playing more than 2 strings at the same time.
I cant do this in Der Erlkonig, because in order to do this repeatedly for eighth notes at presto, I'd need to rotate my bow back and forth so fast that the bow would look like blurry buzzing bug wings. Why? because I calculated that the main melody (1/8 notes) of Der Erlkonig requires you to play 24 notes per second.
But I'm not asking a pointless question that I know is unanswerable, because somehow, Hilary Hahn could supposedly play the piece at full speed. (without the buzzy bug wings, of course).
Any suggestions that are better than the buzzy bug wings would be much appreciated.