In this masterclass, Professor Atar Arad makes some corrections about musical aspects of the Viola Sonata by Rebecca Clarke , such as character, fingering, string-crossings, double stops, dynamics, and bowings. They also work on articulation issues. Finally, Professor Arad suggests the student not to play C string on the fingerboard.
Professor Arad gives a general explanation about the piece and the student's performance. Specially, it is interesting to keep in mind the idea to adapt themselves to any situation while playing, and not to do the same thing automatically because they have internalized the process.
Arad explains the period and the spirit of the Romanticism. They work on the tuning about the two instruments (viola and piano). The Professor treats the relation between tuning and sound and gives an explanation about why tuning the viola with A string (and not with the rest).
They also works on general aspects, such as phrasing, position (left hand), color of sound, character, bowing, dynamics (balance with the piano) and articulation.
Professor Arad explains several ways to give more brightness to the piece - e.g. with a complete vibrato work. He also mentions general aspects such as dynamics, bowings, tempo and articulation. The tremolo has to be played in a constant way.
Professor Arad finishes the class with some advises about the tudent's attitude: she must to be more confident.
At the beginning of the masterclass, Professor Canino mentions some acoustic issues and he tells an anecdote to the members of the Trio. Then they work on the tempo, the first entry, and the balance of the dynamic balance between the three instruments. Bruno Canino gives some indications to the piano about pedal, accents and sound and he also gives indications to the strings about character and tuning.
Afterwards, they compare some different works by Beethoven , and they work on some musical issues such as tempo, trills, triplets, dynamics, articulation, repetitions, contrast, color, sound balance, and phrasing. Finally, Canino advises them to look for simplicity and ease.
In this masterclass, Bruno Canino focuses on the rapport between the Trio members. Afterwards, they work on dynamic aspects. Regarding them, they reflect on the subito piano before the crescendo indication, and the drama in Beethoven. Besides some bowing and harmonics indications, Canino makes also corrections on articulation and pedal, suitable tempo for concert performance, rapport, and other considerations about the sound in the three instruments.
Professor Canino explains that the tempo is in 4 and that the changes of character go from serious to agitato and the tempo is associated to each character.
He corrects many aspects of the piano technique, as articulation - staccato or legato -, expressiveness, and pedal. He insists on the chord balance.
Regarding the violin, the student has to pay attention to the dynamics, fingerings, and bowings.
The beginning of the piece in Allegro must be very energetic.
Professor Canino follows the masterclass with some corrections to the piano part again: arpeggiato chords, balanced articulation, dynamics and character. He also explains how to make a good crescendo, different articulations and flexibility within a tempo, among other issues.
In this masterclass, Professor Bruno Canino gives general considerations about tempo it must be faster, use of pedal in the piano part, and dynamics, different accents in the violin part, the melodic relevance of the violin in some moments, articulation, sforzato and pizzicato.
The character of this piece is like a prayer. In general, the student needs to play with more bow contact and speed. In a certain passage containing a great leap, Professor Poppen revises the string change and the finger position to achieve better sound and more strength. Technically, the student has to use more pressure in the middle of the bow towards the fingerboard. In order to get better sound, the bow has to be parallel to the bridge. The professor adds some explanations about articulation in legato.
There are some initial corrections on sound and color, and on rubato and tempo links between the parts of the Poeme . Then Poppen mentions some aspects about the edition circumstances of this composition. Additionally, the professor makes some corrections about shifts, articulations, sound quality, double cords, phrasing, soloist and orchestral parts, and right hand regarding the sound preparation and creation, bowings, etc.
Professor Poppen begins with a brief comment about tuning on the stage. After the performance, he gives the student some advice on the position of her left shoulder, the playing stance and the tension/relaxation in the left hand.
Afterwards, Christoph Poppen makes some indications about the 'capriccioso' character and the expressiveness of the piece; as well as about the vibrato, the sound and the dynamics, among others. He also makes some comments about bow direction, syncopation and accents, bow-strokes, pressure in the strings, pauses, articulations and fingers.
Professor Poppen mainly makes corrections about metrics and tempo: Siciliano should not be so slow, but more like walking, more fluent. However, Vivace should have a more "dancing" tone. In this second movement, he also makes some suggestions regarding the articulation and the duration of the notes.
In the third movement, it is advisable to feel the swing of the dance (in three parts), as well as playing the final note without fermata.
The masterclass starts with a reference to Bizet's opera Carmen and an explanation about the character that the performance of this work should have - not feisty, but more like singing in an elegant way.
Professor Poppen gives several indications on bow quantity, dynamics and phrasing in different moments of the piece. The ornamentation must be softer and, in certain passages, it is necessary to do a freer rubato, at the same time as tenuto, and keeping the tension, the speed and the bow distribution in order to get a better quality of sound. He insists on the student being more charming and showing more beauty instead of power or strength.
Professor Poppen also suggests him to play with more contact in the bow and sometimes to pay attention to the sound and the tuning, with a clear phrasing and spiccato.
Professor Poppen thinks that, since the student has performed the piece with a very good technique, he should then raise the performance to the next artistic level, climb a step forward. It is also necessary to achieve other colors, as well as to work deeper in the search for different sounds. The professor explains how to start the vibrato.
The right hand must be relaxed in the frog part. There are rhythm issues in relation with accelerando and ritardando.
The piece requires more drama and Professor Poppen compares it with Brahms' music. He talks about contrast in the fermata and says that the bow speed is the responsible of the quality of sound.
They also work on bow pressure in double stops and dynamics within phrasing. The student has to recreate an impressionist atmosphere and to control the speed and quantity of the bow and its way to enter into the string - with more or less pressure (the sound is formed from the bow).
In the final fortissimo, the sense of development has to be present by pulling and not stroking the bow. We have to look for the contact point with more flexibility. In moments when the bariolage technique is used, it is necessary to go more into the string. The last chords must be played always in tempo.
In this masterclass, Professor Dale Clevenger makes some general explanations regarding the tuning for this instrument: right hand must be used to manipulate and correct the horn tuning. In this sense, if the sound is too much low, the student should place his hand upper. The student practices this with a passage from the Hindemith's work and Professor Clevenger also makes more theoretical explanations about the three methods to tune the horn.
About the performance of the student, Professor Clevenger makes some corrections on rhythm, dynamics, character, articulation and phrasing. They also deal with attitude issues: the musician should be telling a story all the time and using his fantasy to perform as in an opera.
To finish, the professor gives some indications to achieve the appropriate articulation in a certain passage.
In this masterclass, Professor Dale Clevenger talks firstly about the jazzy character for this second movement of the Horn Concerto. He highlights the importance of knowing improvising and playing the syncopation rhythm in connection with the piano.
They also work on musical issues such as the pulse, legato and accents, rhythm, dynamics, and breathing before a certain passage, among others.
Professor Clevenger talks about the difference between the projection of the sound while playing either with orchestra or with accompanying piano. They work on articulation and the Professor comments that it is not necessary to stress the anacrusis for the phrasing. They insist on the tuning of chord intervals. Professor Clevenger gives an explanation about the square note and its effect in the score, and also talks about the character, the accents and the slurs of the piece.
First of all, Professor Geringas corrects the tempo and he suggests the student to play sostenuto from the beginning of the piece.
Then they work on dynamic levels related to the corresponding character. Prof. David Geringas also makes some indications about harmony, rhythm, piano and cello rapport and articulation among other issues. Then they discuss about the different editions and their relevance. Afterwards they review the end of the Adagio and the measure to go into the Allegro molto part.
About this second part, David Geringas makes some comments on different execution aspects such as the rhythm and agogics, the character, the quality and clarity of the sound as well as about phrasing, dynamics, attitude in the performance, dialog with the piano, harmony and contrast, etc.
The masterclass ends with some indications about sforzato/forte piano, shoulder relaxation, bowings, and quality of sound in the fortissimo moments.
At the beginning, Professor Geringas explains general aspects such as tempo, agogics and character in relation to Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 . The student has to choose the right tempo for the whole movement selecting it from a different place that the introduction. Later they works on articulation, dynamics, sound, structure and climax in relation to the expression, rhythm and phrasing.
Professor Geringas focuses on the sound balance with the piano, the rapport and dialogue among parts, both instruments playing as an exchange. He also comments some aspects related to the bow and how to get the highest intensity.
There are two main ideas in this class: the pulse maintenance during the whole movement and the differences among the themes of Brahm's Cello Sonata movement. Most of the explanations are focused on these issues.
Additionally, there are general corrections in different aspects, such as rhythm, articulation, phrasing, double tremolo in cello part, always in relation to musical and formal domain.
To establish the tempo of the Brahm's Cello Sonata No. 2 , performers must first look for it in the intermediate passages of each movement, and then bring that same tempo to the beginning.
One must pay attention to musical changes on the score (e.g., one passage turns to espressivo). Clarity of bass pitches is advisable, to explore sound possibilities of the cello as a horn, bassoon, or drums.
Some important comments in this masterclass are: the significance of the first cue at the beginning of the piece -where a brilliant character is required; the connection of the rhythm in the cello part with Latin rhythms (like Tango); and the accuracy of the score.
David Geringas also talks about tempo in the whole sonata, explaining that there is always a connection among movements. Music is always 'crescendo' in the sense of growth, of development.
In this masterclass, Professor Geringas encourages the student to search a full range of expressiveness, based on elements such as dynamics, intensity, articulations and tempo. Geringas also explains the context of this movement in the whole sonata and in relation with the author's symphonies. They talks about the Bohemian character of the piece, as well as general aspects such as coordination - both rhythmical and expressive one - with the accompanying part, phrasing, pauses and resolutions.
In this masterclass, Professor Geringas makes some comments on sound production and contact with the instrument. Professor and student work on dynamics, indications written (and "no written") in the score, phrasing, meaning of "morbido", sound balance to get diminuendo from pianissimo, accents, and so on.
Professor Geringas tells a story about a competition related to this Cello Sonata and he explains the importance to play all the written indications and the relativity of all the things, including the music. Finally, Professor insists on dynamical issues and he gives to the student an advice to play better the piano voce at the end of the piece.
In general, Professor Geringas comments that it is important to think about the sound that the musician wants to provide, because there are a lot of possibilities. He then recommends vocalizing the sound with the cello in the same way that a singer does with his voice.
Afterwards, they work on legato, bow changes related to the tempo of the piece (Adagio), dynamics, and sound preparation with the breathing.
The student should move the body like an instrument producing a sound. After an issue about bow distribution, the professor suggests the student to answer his own questions regarding the music by himself.
Professor David Geringas remarks that some editions do not include a specific sforzato. Regarding the character, there is such a great energy in this piece that the performer feels motivated to go ahead, it is a constant drive. The student should not lose the higher lines even if there are very intense bowings. The student must pay attention to the character of every single motif. The syncopations help to reinforce the intention of the character. As the movement of the piece is steadily growing and developing, it is not possible to play every passage in the same way.
Professor Geringas insists on articulation and on the need of being faithful to the original. He makes a study of different articulations and the most appropriate setting for each of them. It is not advisable to play spiccato in the passages where lightness is not required and tempo has to be strictly kept. Professor Geringas asks the student to distinguish between the different energies demanded by the composer and to create more contrast among them. He also talks about the syncopations as an expressive resource.
It is necessary to know the full score very well and the voice that is carrying out the theme every time. Finally, Professor Geringas gives two interesting ideas: when we want to achieve more sound,...
First, Professor Geringas corrects the tempo of the student's performance of this movement. It is an emotional piece, so it is advisable not to use too much bow and to maintain the contact but with less weight. After that, they comment the orchestral instruments for this cello concerto and the characteristics and expressive differences between the theme and the recitative parts.
After an indication about harmonics, Professor Geringas insists on the character of the piece and the kind of feelings and emotions that the student should show when playing it.
Finally, Professor Geringas gives to the student a general advice about the relevance of knowing the reasons why the composer wrote each work. According to him, it is important to know the history, life and context of the composers, so that the students can get in touch with their inspiration, character and feelings.
The first part of this theoretical masterclass is about sound quality. Professor Geringas suggests that the first step to avoid an "ugly" sound lies in admitting it, then it is necessary to take care of the bow speed, weight and movement so that the strings can always vibrate. They work on the cello position to achieve this and Professor Geringas proposes to the student an exercise to improve the quality of his sound.
The second part of the masterclass consists on explanations referred to dynamics: not to consider it as something absolute but relative because it depends on its context. As an example, David Geringas mentions the Ligeti Concerto . He also talks about acoustic issues and the difference with the electric cello - Prof. Geringas plays the beginning of the Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 by Schumann . Geringas suggests thinking about how the sound spreads outside and not how is the sound inside the cello.
To conclude, the professor compares this with the gestures of a conductor.
Professor Diemut Poppen explains that the tempo in the student's performance is too fast. Unlike the Courante, the Allemande is not a "jumping dance', but gentler and more melodic. It also needs more bow and energy in general. Regarding melodic issues, the bass voice is the most important in the piece and it needs more bow. The interval leaps must be shorter in contrast with the whole phrase, which should be longer. The voices have to be dynamically connected. All the voices have to be clear in the fast passages. When playing and practising the phrasing, it is necessary to be aware of the harmonic movements.
The index finger is the connection from the arm to the string, so if the student raises the finger all the time she loses a lot of sound. She has to practice every note with the index finger and play scales in that way and then with all the fingers. Professor Poppen comments that it is very useful to play some studies detache. The student has to take into account that, although during the Baroque period the way of playing is lighter and softer, it is very important not to lose the contact point with the string.
In this masterclass, Professor Diemut Poppen indicates the student that she has too much stress when playing, and that she should avoid unnecessary movements with the viola, as well as take care of her body posture, which tends to bend forward. The student also has to control the bad habit of breathing nervously. The trills must be shorter, as if she was playing a brief ornamentation. The student should think the pulse is in 3 in order to avoid jeopardizing the performance of the whole movement.
Professor Poppen also gives some advice about the most suitable bowings in certain passages; and she indicates that in less important moments, the student can play rubato to make the phrase more interesting, as well as to highlight the dynamics in the most relevant passages harmonically wise. Regarding phrasing, Professor Poppen considers that all the phrase ends should be softer. At the end of the class, Professor Poppen focuses on some technical exercises to monitor the movements of the fingers in the left hand. They practice scales in several positions and with one and two strings.
This masterclass begins with short dynamical corrections. Afterwards, Professor Diemut Poppen points out that the left hand - especially the thumb - has a bad position, and there are some notes out of tune because of a wrong fingering.
They also deal with bowing issues related to articulation and phrasing. Professor Poppen also advises the student to practice slowly in order to improve the attunement of the intervals and she recommends her to take care of the articulation.
Finally, they work on phrasing regarding the harmony of each passage.
First, Professor Poppen explains that the student should play with more elegance, and she indicates him how to raise and stop the bow to improve his performance.
Professor Poppen also recommends using more mane to get a darker sound and she gives other bow indications. Afterwards, they work on tuning and Professor Poppen suggests the student some bowing exercises.
They also work on the weight of the right arm, the movement of the elbow and the relaxation posture. To improve these right arm issues, Professor Poppen suggests more exercises.
Finally, she offers the student further advice about bow, tuning, vibrato, pressure, etc.
In this masterclass, Professor Brunner talks about the main aspects of clarinet technique and expression through a piece of the contemporary repertoire. He gives indications such as phrasing in relation to some formal passages - e. g. the advisability to separate the resolutions from the rest of the phrase -, tempo through the whole piece, accents and articulation, tempo, position of the fingers, dynamics and clarity and precision of the sound
Professor Brunner works on Muczynski's Time Pieces, Op. 43 , second movement, focusing on aspects such as expression, dynamics and phrasing. He explains all the details related to those parameters along the whole movement.
The student has to think in a horizontal bow movement to ensure a continuity in the sound. The phrasing may be freer and not so rigorous in a specific passage. The relaxation of the arm is necessary when the bow is out of the string. The bowings must sound as a great line, not as an independent movement. The sixteenth notes have to be played different every time they are repeated in a passage.
Other considerations during the class are sound preparation, string rapport with the piano, sound balance and quality, different attacks, lyrical character, triplets, and contact point close to the bridge in certain passages.
The feeling of the arm in the air, when the bow is out of the string, is similar to that of a tennis player. Body movements and sound preparation: do not be passive, but active and relaxed and ready to react. When you want to play forte -with more intensity- a previous relaxation is necessary, and when you play, the attack must have more contact in the string and should be closer to the bridge. Finger, arm and hand position should be at the same level as the strings, not opposite. Relaxation (instead of crashing) is very important. Sound balance and rapport between cello and piano. In the central passage, the student must calm down and does not need to lead....
There is a specific musical intention at the beginning with the first crescendo. Other considerations about tempo: it must be maintained (not rallentando). Corrections on glissando.
Regarding bowings, the professor works on the right point to place and slide the bow and on the clarity in a specific passage. There are also explanations about Britten's character, quality of sound, color, fingerings, vibrato, and harmonics; as well as about his interpretation and the length of the last notes in the phrases.
In this masterclass, they first work on the better way to grab the bow, the elbow movement, and the pressure and contact with the string taking into account the physical conditions of the student. Then, Professor Helmerson makes some corrections about musical aspects such as the harmony, dynamics, fingering, rhythm, vibrato, bowings, articulation and character. About the end, Helmerson recommends not to play so slowly the last two arpeggios because the next movement is played attaca and she should keep in mind how to finish this second movement.
Professor Helmerson places the compositions by Grieg in the Norwegian landscape and the bucolic character. He also explains that this sonata should be played thinking on the pastoral songs based on folklore and old popular tradition in the Norwegian mountains.
Finally, Helmerson makes some corrections about bowings and rhythm.
Frans Helmerson gives some indications about articulation accuracy and conscious listening to what is being played. Moreover, he talks about contrasting passages: some require more dancing character, while others need to be performed as a variation.
Frans Helmerson talks about the work as a whole - it is necessary to identify folk elements from every movement (rhythms, articulations, accents, etc.): sophistication without losing its popular character.
The vibrato is too intense for the sound of this piece (the required character is more tender). Indications about agogics: keep the same pulse and do not take breaks that do not exist. Bow technique: both hands must change their character at the same time, with a deeper bow (more contact) and projection in last notes. Specific corrections on fingerings.
In a movement such as this, an expressive person like the student must distance himself to avoid being too carried along (expressiveness is there by itself).
Digression about the work in general: it is like a Brothers Grimm's tale (it experiences mood swings, going from the nicest fairy tale to the cruelest nightmare).
In this masterclass, most of the indications and corrections are focused on the character and its technical implications, such as the character of the piece regarding the bowings.
There are other comments: explanations about expressiveness (do not relax the tension in the expressive passages) and syncopation -in ancient music it is anticipated (folk music comes from ancient traditions); general corrections on accents, contrasts of character and phrasing (responding to the excitement of the passage); double pitches, which require a breach from the previous music (two different worlds).
It is very advisable to enjoy the interchange between rotation harmonic and no harmonics pitches, as well as to remove the habit of lengthening the end of a line; vibrato must be kept until the next note.
Professor Helmerson proposes different fingerings to get more color contrast. The student has to avoid useless body movements, at the same time, that to think the music, as he is a singer, imagining the way in which a singer would do it. Moreover, he talks about the flexibility in the rhythm, the vibrato in some specific passages and the need to avoid glissandi by making extensions of the fingers, a very important point in the cello technique.
Professor Helmerson explains the tempo of the sixteenth notes, which establish the tempo of the whole movement. The projection of the sound has to be 'exuberant', maintaining a melodic line between the rhythm and the sound.
Helmerson insists on keeping the tempo and remaining the same melodic line in the link to the Trio. He also advises the student to avoid rushed shifting and remarks the accuracy of the tempo in dotted eighteenth notes and sixteenth ones.
In this masterclass, Professor Gunter Pichler works in depth on different passages and fragments of the movement with the Art Quartet. They focus on tuning, tempo, rhythm, articulation, character, dynamics, glissandi, shifts, quality of sound, and accents; as well as on the balance among all the instruments.
Professor Gunter Pichler works on the cello introduction in detail: less bow, attention to the rhythm, tempo and more concentrated sound. Later on, in the rest of the movement, they work on rhythm and sound (it is advisable to play with 'more air'), character, harmony, balance, articulation, vibrato and fingerings. Pichler explains that 'sotto voce' and 'mezza voce' come from singing, but it is not necessarily pianissimo. The chords have to be played with more weight and extension of the bow, constantly being aware of the harmony.
Professor Gunter Pichler thinks that the students have to play with more contrasting dynamics and to study all the possibilities of expression. The character of the piece is like a dance and it should be sang as a human voice.
Other topics that professor Pichler comments are: articulation and quality of sound. Regarding the dynamics, he talks about the connection between forte and piano, the clarity of diminuendo and crescendo, different ways to play a pianissimo depending on the ensemble (orchestra, quartet, soloist, etc.) and the recommendation to avoid pianissimo dynamics in the solos.
About bow and expression, professor Pichler talks about vibrato, bowings, how to play a forte - without stopping the bow -, bow preparation in cello part and bow quantity required in several moments.
Finally, other topics are phrasing, tempo, tuning, articulation, tempo, and the student's attitude while playing.
First, Professor Schellenberger makes a recommendation about dynamics and sound balance. In this kind of works, it is important to respect all the dynamic indications to understand the performance. The rhythm also must be very clear, and the entries very precise.
Schellenberger also suggests that the beat should be constant and then he insists on 'motif' issues: location, appearance, which instrument has to play them, etc. Finally, there are also particular corrections on accents and articulation.
Professor Hansjorg Schellenberger gives general considerations about the way to play this piece: the beginning is piano; yet, at the same time, the theme has stand out, playing with more freedom during the crescendo. The performance must be lighter in general, with 'swing'.
Professor Schellenberger explains the dynamics of the whole piece, as well as the phrasing and the meaning of each section, and how to feel them. The score accuracy is necessary to read and understand the composer's indications.
The professor compares the work with the architecture and painting of the 'Belle Epoque': the asymmetric elements, the curves, Mahler's music, etc. everything that shaped the 'Art Nouveau'.
Regarding the tempo, in this case it has to be understood as a dance. It is also important to maintain the balance among parts, and the way to achieve it is by listening to the rest of the instruments and distinguishing the most remarkable parts at any time.
There is also a study of pulses in a very complex and rhythmical passage. In spite of the complexity of the rhythm, the professor insists on the importance of keeping the original tempo.
Professor Schellenberger comments that the students have to feel the pulse in 3 and explains how to play the staccato (shorter) depending on the rhythmical elements of the other instruments. The shoulders have to be relaxed while playing. The professor also explains the dynamics of every part in several moments and the waltz rhythm in a specific passage.
At the end of the masterclass, professor Schellenberger explains the most important aspects of the movement: thematic elements, individual dynamics for each instrument - they have to be as exactly as possible for the whole to be clear. There are connections and correspondences among instruments, which is important to take into account - pay attention to canonical moments. Every sound has to be played with projection, with light.
This first part of the masterclass is focused on rapport and sound balance issues. Regarding technique, Professor Schellenberger gives some instructions about sound emission and support, embouchure and mouth position bringing the air to the low part of the abdomen, etc.
Finally, Schellenberger makes some corrections on phrasing and character, among others.
In this second part of the masterclass, Hansjorg Schellenberger focuses on rhythm, metrics and tempo issues. He also points out the voices that have the relevant melodic line in different passages. After some character corrections, Schellenberger gives some indications about articulation, accents, and the length of the notes, among others.
The student has to "speak" the piece very clearly. Therefore, he has to articulate more from the bow. The professor shows and clarifies the note groups of the phrasing. In this piece, dynamics move at the same time as the tempo.
There are also corrections on portato, sound control - when changing the string -, meaning of "ruhig" (calm) and technical work on double stops. The string change has to be anticipated by the fingers and each interval has its own character and expression. The expression is what sets us in motion and not the metronome.
The professor explains the rhythmical relation between 6 and 4 (sixteenth notes). He wants the student to clarify the changes from major to minor and, in general, to have a deeper connection within the phrase between the climax and either tessitura or character changes.
Finally, some comments on Hindemith's music and his value as a composer.
First, the professor corrects the student's position, the right arm movement and the position of the elbow in relation to the contact point of the bow. He also refers to the position of the fingertips: it is very important that they feel the contact with the bow and use it correctly (which leads to them feeling more contact with the sound).
Then there are some explanations and corrections on shifts, phrasing, relaxation, and sound maintenance without stopping the bow, bow changes and expression.
General comments of the professor: the student lacks strength, projection and clarity of sound, particularly in the second part (Allegro).
Once in the Allegro, the professor recommends to pay attention to the harmony of the piano part, to play the triplets clearer and to think in a singing way rather than "forcing" the sound ("making more pressure does not lead to more sound"). Harmonic changes mean expression changes.
The professor works on articulation, phrasing, tuning, bowings, bow direction, distribution, and dynamics. He also recommends the student to play in a more relaxed way, thus making it easier and enjoying it more. In a certain passage, the colour has to be different, picturing the horn sound. Moreover, the professor proposes different fingerings to give a greater sense of cadenza. Finally, he corrects the tuning of the penultimate chord of the piece to achieve more resonance ("to ring more").
The character of the first movement is similar to a fairy tale, and the professor compares it with Schumann's Dichterliebe cycle. All the musical aspects have to correspond with that character, and that is why a concrete atmosphere is required. On Schumann's original score, it is indicated just one bow for two bars.
The corrections also focus on the right arm movements and the way to play at the beginning - like in backstage (behind the scenes), as the piece comes from nowhere (playing in sotto voce) and grows little by little.
The player has to handle the bow without articulating, like a continuum, and to pay attention to the sound at the end of the upbows - keeping the quality of sound and finishing the whole bow.
The last pizzicato has to be prepared. The professor develops the idea of axis-movement: every movement - both in general and during the performance- turns around an axis. Following this concept, the viola has to stay still in the middle, in a balance.
The professor explains how to play a specific passage and proposes technical exercises - on finger extensions - to get it. The bow has to be close to the string, without jumping.
About phrasing, it is necessary to build the line. They also work on the vibrato in high pitches and on how to avoid accents where there are none - by changing arm gestures to prevent them.
The student has to study the dotted rhythms, as if they where triplets. The articulation and the rhythm in the left hand are also important. About finger position, it is advisable to remove the tension from the fingers after each note, instead of pushing them backwards.
First, Prof. Holl advises the student to sing the theme twice. Then, he makes some corrections about the initial rhythm: both the pianist and the singer should show more freedom and expressiveness. Additionally, Hartmut Holl makes some comments about dynamics and character, among others.
Professor Holl starts the masterclass explaining the character of the piece and giving some corrections on phrasing and articulation. Rubato, tempo, colour and dynamics are also topics to be studied in the class.
He insists on German pronunciation - specifically the vowels - and comments aspects such as phrasing and flexibility in the voice line. He explains the construction of the phrase and the previous preparation required to build it.
Finally, Professor Holl focuses on the expression and the sound through the vowels and the consonants.
In this masterclass, they work on some corrections and topics, such as the character - which should be played with more simplicity -, the tempo, pronunciation and articulation, sound quality in piano part, vowels and consonants, emission, and flexibility.
He also explains the concept of 'opus' and talks about the main theme, which has references to generosity and personal gratitude and needs to be more cantabile and open.
Professor Holl gives some indications to the piano part referring to posture, distribution of energy, character and hand movements.
Regarding the singer, Professor Holl focuses on emission, accents in some moments, breathing, meaning of the text, pronunciation, open sound, and flexibility. He also explains the use of different editions of the score and the body gestures while singing.
In this masterclass, Professor Holl gives general indications related to the main aspects of voice training: pronunciation and projection when performing a phrase. He also advises the student on the need to create her own personality as a singer. The singer has to avoid voice gaps or leaps and rather imagine and create a voice line. General musical aspects such as dynamics, articulation and expression are also present.
As a pianist, Holl gives corrections to the piano part in concepts like character, sound, articulation and dynamics, and makes a comparison with Schubert's music.
Professor Holl makes comments on the piano part related to bass register, different colours, character, dynamics, hand movements, and accents.
He also makes corrections to the singer to improve aspects like emission, pronunciation, expression, body movement, vowels, rhythm, and dynamics. The professor thinks that it is desirable to open the voice in a specific passage and gives the student some ways to study this piece.
In general, the student's performance was too much restrained, and Holl considers that it should be more 'pathetic' and express more feelings depending on the lyrics. After some indications about dynamics and pronunciation, Professor Holl works with the pianist. He also recommends the student to change her corporal position and voice color according to each song.
Afterwards, Prof. Holl works on rhythm and tempo issues and he gives some final indications about the articulation following the words pronunciation.
Professor Holl advises the student to relax herself at the end of a song and to take some time before she starts the next one, so that she gets to the required mental and physical state. Afterwards they work on expressive aspects of the lyrics.
Prof. Holl also mentions some exercises of the Stanislavski Method and then he makes some comments on air emission, dynamics, accents and phrasing, energy and breathing, etc. The key is to create vital situations. Finally, Hartmut Holl insists on what a lied is: a moment in life that must be created in a personal and natural way.
First, Prof. Holl points out that the piano should act more as a backing, without showing too much emotion. Then he talks about the freedom of the performance regarding her personality for the 'chanson' character and he makes a recommendation to the student about this kind of repertoire.
There are some initial corrections on balance, phrasing, and articulation in the piano accompanying part. Hartmut Holl also works with the musicians on issues such as the emotional relationship with the text, color, tempo, German pronunciation, character for the song and dynamics.
The phrasing in this music is very fluent; it is compared with Apres un reve, Op. 7 . The character of Faure's music is like a dream.
Use of the bow: different bowings in specific passages; the start should not be done always at the frog, but also from the middle or from the upper part. Identification of passages where it not advisable to use too much bow. Bowings are similar to air; they should float without pulling too much. Attention to spiccato.
Use of the vibrato: the vibrato should not always have the same level, and neither is it necessary all the time. The professor explains the natural moments where is more advisable to breath, as singing.
Ivry Gitlis congratulates the student for her performance. He also talks about general issues, such as the tempo, phrasing, different voices and their importance; how to work and control the rubato, breathing, and harmony changes and how to practice them.
General indications are mentioned in this class: phrasing, dynamics, tempo, rhythm.
Ivry Gitlis explains how, when the piano part makes a diminuendo, the violin starts in piano. He also does some corrections about the bow: the professor allows the student to use his bow and talks about the characteristics of the student's. He does not need to use such a quantity of bow (not the whole bow), and rather should start the bowings in the middle part.
It is interesting to distinguish the different levels and to move through them. It is also important to control the body to avoid wasting energy. The work has a certain relation with one piece by Debussy. The professor and the student work on the character of a specific passage, animato, and on the highpoint of the movement that is followed by the anticlimax.
Although the student plays well, he could do better. Ivry Gitlis mentions several well-known violinists as an example.
Regarding the Introduction of the work, Gitlis advises to play the first note as pizzicato, since this piece should sound as if someone was walking. It must also be performed in tempo, but not metronomic: it can be done rubato. He later on gives some suggestions on bowings and bow distribution, sound, or metrics, inserting some musical anecdotes.
Gitlis advises the student to use the mute in this movement and makes some reflections about the beginning: to think and mentally prepare the notes before playing. In this matter, he tells an anecdote about his recording of Sibelius' Violin Concerto . Both at the beginning and, in general, in all the entries, the student must take more time.
Perhaps it may help imagining Tchaikovsky entering the room. Violinists are lucky, since they can completely express their feelings with their instrument. She should play freely and without fear, and it must be intimate and melancholic, without being sad. After mentioning Beethoven's Concerto , the professor advises to listen to the harmony and the change of color, and not use too much bow. The student must feel it, and then do it.
Gitlis explains that the parts that are repeated should not be played all the same, and rather be said differently, imagining some kind of echo. He later does some corrections on the phrasing and the distribution and quantity of bow.
Gitlis also advises that the sound should be more prepared and that the performance must be given with love -he mentions Shakespeare and Cervantes, more freely and feeling it: the student needs to free and relax her arm, using her body's own movement and natural weight. He finally adds a brief anecdote about Carl Flesch and adds that the character should be not so gentle or smooth.
I. Rubato: First, Jaime Martin gives some indications about phrasing and articulation (more like "speaking"), syncopation, direction and character. Then they work on the rapport in the ornamental parts, tempo, dynamics, vibrato, and tension.
II. Andante: The Professor suggests that the student should look for a different color in the 'Poco sostenuto' after the 'Andante' introduction: like a violin in the G-string, not too much open, painful. Then he advises the student where is it better to breathe to keep the tension and phrasing.
III. Poco rubato: Professor Martin recommends starting the third movement above the piano resonance of the previous movement, so that the tempo is more suitable, and he plays this beginning to show it to the student.
IV. Andante: Professor Martin shows how to play this piece and then he advises the student about expressiveness and attitude in the performance: it is better to exaggerate than to fall short. Afterwards they work on dynamics, rapport with the piano and character.
This Scherzo is like a bridge between the sad songs and the happy ones. It has a lot of humor, and so Professor Martin advises to be flexible with the tempo in this performance and play it in the Hungarian "Czardas" style. The first three measures are like an introduction and so that they should not be played "a tempo". Afterwards, there are some corrections about dynamics, rhythm, and phrasing at the end of the piece.
VII. Allegro: These pieces are "old dances" and they must sound like folk music, not "pesante". Professor Jaime Martin advises the student to listen to the Tzigane violinist Roby Lakatos and play with a funny and popular character.
VIII. Allegretto: It is advisable to wait a little in the last note, giving a more "Hungarian style". Jaime Martin also suggests playing nonstop between movements. The sound should imitate the violin harmonics.
IX. Allegretto - X. L'istesso tempo: Professor Martin gives tempo indications and he plays both pieces to show it. Next movement also should be played directly "in attacca". Professor Martin also makes comments on character, sound, and how to play the last note to get into the following movement in the right way.
XI. Assai moderato: For this piece, Professor Martin gives some indications about tempo, phrasing and breathing between phrases, making it simpler.
XII. Allegro: The Professor indicates how to play this movement by playing it, and gives a brief comment on tempo.
XV. Allegro: Short remark about the fingering in a fast passage of this last piece.
Indications about the bass (left hand) and the use of the pedal. "Italian" character, not serious. Phrasing and tempi issues. A particular passage requires sforzando. Advice about the rubati and the use of metrical freedom like in a Chopin Concerto .
Corrections on tempo and pedal. Importance of the melodic line: not to accent some specific passages. Calando and phrasing. It is better to use Urtext edition in order to know exactly if the score remarks are original from Mozart or not.
Professor Silverstein begins this masterclass with some explanations about playing on the beat and not before the beat, because in this way the chords would be divided. Joseph Silverstein shows it by playing and he points out that fingers should be placed sooner. He also plays the first measures from the Fugue (second movement).
Afterwards, they talk about the tempo: it is related to the movement between one harmony and the next one. Professor Silverstein also makes some indications about attacks, sound preparation, metrics and phrasing, among others.
Firstly, Professor Silverstein makes some introductory comments about bow direction: it is not necessary to play chords always down-bow. For example, his students practice this by playing the Etude Op. 35 No. 1 by Jakob Dont .
Prof. Silverstein also mentions that it is interesting to play with a baroque violin and then he makes some suggestions regarding bow issues, such as bow strokes and direction.
Afterwards, they work on fingering, metrics, shifts or changes of position, chords, strings and character.
Finally, the professor makes some considerations on the way of performing baroque works: he speaks about the historicist musical performances and the baroque instruments. Nowadays, the dynamical rank is bigger. It is necessary also taking into account the invention of the chin rest and its importance for the vibrato. As an example, Joseph Silverstein plays a fragment from the Courante of the Partita No. 2, BWV 1004 by J.S. Bach . To conclude, the professor recommends the student playing with a baroque bow to feel the difference.
Karl-heinz Steffen corrects the student some issues about the piece agogics and tempo.
Karl-Heinz Steffens also makes some comments about the character and expressiveness, the articulation on some passages, the length of the pauses and the notes; as well as about the tempo indications on the score.
The work on this piece is focused on the rhythm and tempo. Karl-Heinz Steffens compares this piece with the cubism in Picasso's paintings, and highlights the importance of achieving well-formed music. He mentions the author and talks about just doing what is written in the score, with no personal additions or rhythmic fluctuations. The professor also does some corrections on the length of the notes and the appoggiaturas, the termination of sound, tuning, dynamics, articulations, expressiveness, etc.
The character must be as that of his work The Rite of Spring . The student must play with rigor and rhythmic clarity, keeping the air under control. The professor suggests some 'legato exercises' to train the air release during the final high notes and the jump from a bass to a high note: use more air and less pressure on the embouchure, and lay on the high notes without fear.
Finally, Karl-Heinz Steffens advises the student to try to relax, the more difficult and quick the music is, the more the performer should be calm thinking slowly and with control. It is important to anticipate and think calmly during the difficult passages.
With this piece, Karl-Heinz Steffens and student work on aspects such as the length and accuracy of certain notes specifically, of appoggiaturas and ornaments.
The professor comments on the tempo, the color, the kind of sound, and the sound contrast. Additionally, he points out some dynamic, rhythmic, articulation and accent corrections on different notes. Generally, the performance must have more metric rigor, without rushing, and the character must be more giocoso .
At the beginning of the masterclass, Professor Thunemann says that the student's sound vibrates too much, so the emission has to be more solid. Regarding the indications on the score, the student has to pay attention to the value of the notes, rhythms, and tempo - not rushing, and leave more space between every note in the staccato.
The professor also corrects the tuning in several notes and comments that it is necessary to change the reed for the high F.
The staccato is with more tongue, shorter and with more character. Regarding the dynamics, the crescendo is not so subito. Thunemann insists on not rushing the tempo and taking time in several moments, without rallentando in the final part.
When we have two similar rhythmical structures, the performance of the first structure must be slower than the performance of the second one.
Professor Thunemann gives some advice related to the phrase structure at the beginning of the piece. He makes some corrections on several notes, dynamics, breathing and rhythm.
The professor transmits to the student the need to have a meticulous respect to the score accuracy. He comments the specific legato in a passage and gives some indications on vibrato to be followed by the students: French music has to be performed with more vibrato in high pitches.
Regarding the tempo, it is necessary to play more fluent, trying not to slow down.
Klaus Thunemann begins making some comments about the rapport in the initial entry and the tempo, as well as the tuning and sound clarity. Besides, he gives some indications to the quintet members regarding the articulation, dynamic contrasts, agogics, voices interpretation and conversation. Instead of accelerating the tempo, it should become more flexible.
Professor Thuneman also makes some comments about appoggiaturas, dynamics, and phrasing; and he insists on the voices entries - be careful with it and practice each voice separately. Finally, he makes a brief comment on the general character of this music.
Professor Thunemann works on articulation, tempo, and accuracy at the beginning of the piece. He also gives indications about dynamics and works on specific voices, such as the flute (which must take more time).
Other corrections are related to triplets, waltz rhythm, ways of facing the reprise, contrasts, character 'sforzando misterioso', pizzicato and tempo. The students should play with more flexibility, rather than being strict. They should also pay attention to the tuning and the rapport among the parts at the end.
At the beginning of this masterclass, Professor Blacher works on the cadenza and the final section of the movement with the student, regarding issues such as fingerings, shifting, bow speed, phrasing, articulation, expression, contrast, and character. He explains the student how to use the bow and how to practice a specific passage. All the cues are important in a concerto and they must be foreseen and breathed. He mentions what the orchestra is playing in some moments.
The student has to differentiate among dynamics and has to play the trills with accent. Later, they work on the development of the movement in some specific passages. Professor Blacher also talks about vibrato, score accuracy, and harmonic tension. Regarding the technical chapter with exercises, these are focused on standing and placement while playing. It is necessary to exercise them daily, e.g. by working on one position, moving the head and raising it. Afterwards, both the Professor and the student keep working on scales and body movements for comfort and extra control.
Professor Blacher explains aspects about bow technique: the bow comes more 'from the string', with more weight. The student has to make a clear difference between when he plays staccato (less bow) and when he uses more bow. In any case, the staccato should not be so close to the frog. The student has to turn the bow to avoid sounding 'col legno'. If we want to get a 'flautato' colour, the bowing should be lighter, without weight and with the whole bow.
For the left hand, Professor Blacher gives some indications to the student: he explains how tuning works in Milstein and Perlman . The student must search for the feeling of relaxation in fast passages for the left hand. Professor Bacher also talks about harmonic glissando and he explains several corrections about the position of the violin - too closed because of the chinrest; opening the position means to get more sound).
Related to the bow, Professor Blacher proposes some technical questions: sound exercises in open strings holding the sound, the right elbow and the wrist. They use Kreutzer's Etude No. 2 (Allegro moderato, from '42 Etudes') to work on bow and sound, taking into account different kind of sound if the bow places at the frog or at the tip.
Blacher also mentions the method "The Dounis Violin Players'...
At the beginning of the masterclass, Professor Blacher comments about sound clarity, and then they work on shifts and bow distribution, spiccato, and the relocation of the right arm to get a better sound.
He recommends color changes about the piano dynamics and, after that, they review the tuning and sound quality in certain difficult passages.
It is important that the student knows the harmonies is playing in order to be tuned with the piano. They also work on issues related to double stops, right hand and bow movement, etc.
Regarding the cadence, Professor Blacher suggests some string changes and other aspects of the student's execution.
In this technical masterclass, Professor Kolja Blacher suggests to the student an exercise to improve the vibrato, in order to reach a wider and more controlled vibrato. The student practices this with a passage from the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Paganini .
Afterwards, Professor Blacher proposes some exercises to achieve better sound when the student plays with the tip of the bow. Besides, the student makes an exercise based on scales, so she could lift properly the fingers, and therefore to be able to improve the shifts and the string changes.
Finally, Professor Blacher recommends another additional exercise to improve the vibrato and they work on it.
Professor Kolja Blacher works with the student the first movement of Ysaye's Violin Sonata No. 4 , giving instructions about the speed of the vibrato depending on the nature of the passage, the bow's strokes, speed and changes taking into account the dynamics and character (more or less energetic), tension and double cords.
In the end, the professor gives the student some advice on how to train the vibrato: think about in which register may vibrate more or less, and which bowings need more or less energy, as well as the importance of training it slowly.
First, Professor Melrose suggests the student to think about someone he loves a lot, and try to sing for him/her. The idea is to find the proper emotional state to perform this aria. They also work on phrasing and breathing in several passages. In one of them, after a great intake of breath, the student should hold back the air while delaying the moment to continue singing. In this same passage, it is especially important the connection and rapport with the piano.
The student must pay attention to the text and the articulation, according to the character and the emotion being described. He should not forget the expression in any passage. Professor Melrose explains that, when a high pitch is repeated, the support has to be kept, instead of rising and falling continuously. Tuning is also worked in certain moments. Finally, Professor Melrose suggests maintaining the attitude until the end of the aria to create a powerful conclusion.
At the beginning of this masterclass, Professor Melrose focuses on the performance of the Count's character and on the expression of this role. The first three phrases represent three different thoughts with three different colors. It is very important to be aware of the text and its expressiveness. Professor Melrose indicates which words have to be highlighted from the more trivial ones, due to their importance when expressing the Count's mood - rough and coarse.
Professor Melrose explains the interpretation and expression required for this aria. Special care should be taken in the solemn passage. Another fragment has to be articulated as a dance. Professor Melrose insists on the importance of paying attention to the text and its expressiveness, underlining the significance of certain words. He also explains to the student how to express changes in this character's thinking, as well as how to use the energy when the passage requires more vigour.
First, they talk about the story line for of this opera and its expressive implications. The simplest is always the best. Afterwards, Professor Melrose makes some comments on phrasing regarding the lyrics, and he recommends the student to bear these thoughts in mind in order to activate the specific feeling.
He then highlights the importance of some moments according to the tension implied in the text: it is necessary to keep the tension with the public in order to maintain the interest.
Professor Melrose also thinks that the intensity mainly depends on the way we feel the words, rather than on the volume, which means that it is important to sing with a special color. Moreoer, Professor Melrose advises not to sing "like a singer" but like a "normal human being".
Professor Melrose comments with the student the character of this scene and they describe the role of Aldimira and the best way to express her mood. He then corrects the entrance: it is better not to hurry up, enjoying the previous silence. Afterwards, Professor Melrose makes some comments on expressiveness and color regarding the feelings of the opera character. They also work on the role portrayal and on the performance of the scene that she is singing. Finally, there are some indications about the text and pronunciation, the accents and phrasing - regarding what the singer is saying; and about breathing, among others.
For this Cavatina, they mainly work on breathing and phrasing issues. Professor Melrose also makes some corrections on dynamics, pronunciation, expressiveness and staging regarding the libretto. It is necessary keep the energy and the breath as steady as possible to ensure that the music flows.
Afterwards, they work on the role portrayal and the Professor corrects the air emission at the beginning of the song. Additionally, they go over the climax of the Cavatina so that the student gathers all the energy needed in this part - according to the Professor, to achieve this the student should take more time to prepare the moment and should also take a deeper breath.
Professor Melrose tells the student to allow the energy to enter his body. They work on the breathing of the first cue. The student needs more focus and more concentration of sound, as if the air were a laser.
Professor Melrose explains that the sound projection does not imply to push the voice and that the phrasing always depends on the text.
They also work on body relaxation, maintaining the support without bending de body backwards.
Regarding the attitude, the student must trust himself. The relaxation and the rest of the muscles are very important to get a relaxed pitch and they help to make the vowels softer. There should be no rush in the word 'corona' and the student should maintain the exclamations in the final phrases until the end.
First, Professor Leigh Melrose points out that the student should hold the first phrase. They then talk about expressiveness and about how to better show the character's emotional moment in this aria. Afterwards, they work on phrasing and on the pronunciation of some words. In general, Professor Melrose advises the student to be more open. At the end of the masterclass, the student asks a technical question to improve the control of the tongue and Professor Melrose recommends him to maintain the mouth as relaxed as possible. It could be useful to practice in front of the mirror but without getting obsessed or feeling inhibited about this issue.
It is better to use more pressure in the bow to get a great quality of sound. Maazel advices specific fingerings. In a passage in detache-marcato, it is advisable to use the whole bow. Preparation to second theme, concrete bow attacks (more speed and accuracy).
Introduction: sound and violin types. Sound quality at the beginning of the piece; the vibrato has to be more expressive and coming from the arm. Indications about tempo.
Corrections in bow weight distribution: more quantity, more air. About tuning: necessary to listen to the orchestra part as a reference.
Also indications about pizzicato: finger vibration to achieve a great quality sound. Mute: in high registers, place the mute on the opposite side of the bridge to get a good sound; on d string, change the place to the other side.
General considerations about bowing: comments about position, inclination and contact point. It is better to combine bow pressure with finger pressure on each note in a specific passage. Also indications about bowing use in lyrical passages.
Pitch duration in a certain passage: do not play too quick for nor losing the break sensation.
Finger placing: flat position on the string, more necessary in fast passages to get a better quality of sound. In a specific passage, more metric accuracy to obtain a kinder character. Also indications about phrasing, tuning and absolute hearing. For a better vibrato more use of the arm.
Indications about voice identification: be aware of the clarity of the B natural in a G Major chord. Also working on tuning and violin positions and phrasing. The professor advices about bow changes in a specific passage to get better sound quality.
First, Pressler tells an anecdote with violinist Henri Temianka (Paganini Quartet) about tuning. Then he focuses on the sound quality, giving some indications about sound balance and level (less piano and more violin), sound clarity, dynamics, alternated with other corrections on the tempo and the violin's vibrato.
Continuation of the masterclass about the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Trio op.1/3 , where Pressler gives some advice to the trio members regarding phrasing, dynamics, voices, articulation, character, agogics, harmony, and vibrato, among others.
The professor congratulates the students and talks about the quality of the piece. On the other hand, it is necessary to improve some aspects, such as the correct tempo, the piano melody, syncopations, accuracy of the entrances, bow technique in strings, character in certain moments, trills, articulation, interpenetration among the instruments, and solo moments.
The corrections are about bow strokes, dynamics and phrasing. It is also advisable not to lengthen the last note of each phrase and to clarify the articulation, which is softer. The piano should not stand out there should be a balance among the three parts and they must pay attention to the voice imitations.
There are other comments on harmony, rhythm, and tempo, and some details explained about the piano part. The group has to be aware of the moment when the cello needs extra time on the high note of the solo, so that they all can rapport together.
Introduction by Professor Pressler , who has played several works by Cesar Franck but never this one. He then makes some corrections on phrasing and dynamics - such as the beginning of violin I part, the piano part, etc. The students have to be aware of the melodic lines and of issues concerning the balance of the sound among the five instruments.
Professor Pressler explains a rhythmic motif in a certain passage of the piano part. He asks the ensemble to identify all the voices and explains some issues regarding the agogics (accelerandi, ritardandi), the pulse and the anacrusis.
With respect to the phrasing, he remarks the notes that should be emphasized in the phrase due to their melodic relevance.
Professor Pressler begins this masterclass with a correction on tempo: it must be largo, much slower (he sings a fragment to show the tempo to the students). Then Professor Pressler corrects the pianist on fingerings and articulation in a specific phrase. Once the performance of the whole movement is over, Professor Pressler focuses on the cello and on how to improve the sound of an interval leap in a final melody. He also gives indications about the way to play pizzicato in a certain passage.
Professor Pressler gives some quick indications and corrections during the students' performance. Afterwards, he also talks about sound volume in violin II, as well as dynamics and sound balance for the whole ensemble.
Finally, apart from the piece they are working on, Professor Pressler completes his explanations with general comments about musicians and members of different quartets.
The professor starts by indicating that some dynamical and sound issues are not Mozart . He also makes some corrections about the phrasing, dynamics, harmonic aspects, character, articulation, and breathing of certain passages.
Then, Pressler indicates other works composed by Mozart and makes more suggestions about the pedal, the tension in the accords and the attacks, among others. Finally, he advises the students to change the dynamics and general attitude regarding the style of the composer.
Comments about Mozart's sound with practical examples and explanations about the tactile sensation. Lightness and beauty of sound in Mozart.
Other considerations: the professor talks about tempo without rushing, comparison between speech and musical accents (always emphasizing the right syllable); breathings, phrasing direction and analysis to distinguish between relevant notes and ornaments; accents and dynamic corrections; care of the scales and consideration about style; how to use the metronome and a studio recording as a support for daily study.
At the beginning of the masterclass, Professor Pressler congratulates the two pianists for their performance. He talks about Rachmaninov's four-hand writing: in this piece, it seems that the piano II does not develop its virtuosism as usual. By contrast, the composer works on two-piano pieces in different ways, both parts (piano I and piano II) are more balanced.
The tempo meno mosso indicates a softer character, an entertainment purpose. They work on the progressions of dynamics to the pianissimo so that they become more gradual.
Corrections on the tempo, phrasing, dynamics, compensation and sound balance regarding the second movement of Ravel's Piano Trio .
Additionally, the professor talks about the harmony of a certain passage, the location of the climax, articulation, character. In relation with the piano, he points out some aspects related to the left hand triplets, rhythm and use of the pedal. He also makes some comments on the color and timbre of the sound, the control of bass notes and the rapport.
The professor begins giving some advice to the violinist on the position and the harmonics. Additionally, he makes general corrections on the last movement of Ravel's Piano Trio related to several rhythmic, dynamic, phrasing, sound and character aspects, among others.
Pressler also talks about the accents and the harmony of certain passages, triplets, agogics and tempo, vibrato, compensations and sound balance.
The professor talks about the comparison between the orchestral and two piano versions in relation to intensity and timbre: tension-relaxation, direction, climax and tempo. Reference to Horowitz's performances.
Other explanations to take into account are phrasing (feeling each phrase), pulse, dynamics, tempo accuracy, use of pedals (damper pedal), articulation, glissando (phrasing and dynamics), accents, sound quality, and timbre. The character must be gentler and not so eccentric. The phrasing has to be well built and the harmony, heartfelt. Finally, the student should work on an expressive sound and the end should be more conclusive.
First, Professor Menahem Pressler mentions that, in general, the piano sounds too loud. He also explains other issues about main voices, sound balance and rapport as group. Then, Professor Pressler makes some general comments on this work, and he talks about the other movements where cello has the principal role. He also makes a comparison with other composers and gives indications about playing the first chord together, phrasing, sound balance, and other rapport issues. They also work on corrections in accents, cello slides in a certain passage, and agogics. Finally, Professor Pressler encourages them to play always with conviction.
Professor Menahem Pressler makes some brief corrections on the second movement of Schumann's Piano Trio No. 2 : First, he talks about the melodic lines for each instrument and their connections, and then, regarding other passage, he recommends the strings to slide down in a specific interval.
Professor Pressler finds a reference to Clara Schumann in a certain melody of this movement. He also talks about expressiveness and he describes and compares a passage with a church where an organ is playing.
Menahem Pressler begins highlighting the difference regarding the sound power and balance that must exist between this work by Tchaikovsky (where the performers must have an equitable treatment) and his concertos (with a soloist character).
Pressler explains how to perform and transmit feelings through this work. He also gives some advice on other aspects, such as articulation and phrasing, tempo, vibrato, rhythm, and the clarity of sound in the solos; as well as on the differentiation in certain passages between the soloist and the orchestral tutti.
Continuation of the class about the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio, Op. 50 , where Menahem Pressler gives some indication to the Trio members regarding the dynamical contrasts, sound clarity, arpeggios, articulation, fingerings, rhythmical and dancing character, accents, entries, etc.
The movement is Adagio in 4 , not in sixteenth notes, which would make it too slow and heavy. Professor and student talk about the function of the movement in the whole sonata and the purpose of the ornamentation, as well as about phrasing, character, articulation in legato, use of right arm, vibrato - not in every note -, tension - relaxation of the harmony, pulse, articulation in left hand, and dynamics. In some specific passages, it is also possible to changes bowings.
The professor explains the importance of the control of bow movements (bow-arm). He also talks about articulation, phrasing, arpeggios, dramatic character, tempo, harmony and harmonic color, and the relation between melody and piano accompaniment. The direction of the arm has to be as a pendulum, making half circles, taking advantage of the energy. The width of the chords' movement determines the sound. They also talk about musical expression and how to perform arpeggio chords.
This masterclass is focused on the development of the movement and on bowings, pulse, use of vibrato, and articulation. The professor advises the student to work on some of Sevcik's exercises to improve the shifting positions. The important thing is the position of the arm, as well as the distance from the bow and the speed.
Other important aspects are melody skips, harmony of the trills, volume of the sound, tension between intervals, and right arm position.
This piece requires different colors, so Professor Fried advises the student not to play with the same bow direction, distribution or speed. At the beginning, the sound should be low, and then it should gradually increase with vibrato. Regarding vibrato, it is recommended to place the flat finger on the string.
Finally, Miriam Fried gives an indication about character and tempo for the cadenza, and other aspects like glissandi and fingering according to the style of the period.
The professor advises the student to establish a quicker tempo from the beginning.
She insists on the importance of color changes: it is not just a question of dynamics; they are necessary both to point out the tonal modulations and for the phrasing when the violin has a long note and the piano has a change in harmony. The student has to plan this color changes to save enough bow and to put more interest in emphasizing the dissonances.
About the tempo, when the student is late during the movement, it is like a machine running out of fuel and it is not comfortable for the pianist.
About phrasing, it is very advisable not to play in such a horizontal way. The phrase has to get somewhere and it must have direction. Without that vertical point, this horizontal approach has no meaning. For example, in a specific phrase, the climax is on the high G, so the student has to think how to get there.
In this masterclass, Professor Fried asks what the movement is about and explains the use of the bow and its connection with the phrasing. Harmony is important in this work, as well as its colors and how to achieve them with the bow with vibrato. In some phrases, it is better to join notes in groups and to control de sound that rises and falls. It is very important to define the structure of the movement.
The professor advises the student to do the 'choreography' of the right arm without either bow or violin, just with the arm. The student has to think about what she wants to do with the sound and the differences and contrast between the parts, as well as to try out all the possibilities.
The indications about phrasing are to play in one line and to pay attention to the 4-bars phrase. It is necessary to connect all the notes of a group and to avoid losing them in a phrase. It is necessary to clarify the high point.
The tempo is not too slow. There are other comments about harmonic progressions, vibrato, bow speed, articulation, intervals, coda, and rhythm clarity - if needed.
About sound quality: the bow has to be more concentrated and to project and change the color in some passages. The imagination is very important to picture the musical idea and to be able to communicate it.
Professor Fried asks the student about the first movement. She explains all the important aspects related to the character in several passages; the harmony, bow speed, projection of the sound, vibrato -as an specific color, and the analysis of the score.
Repeating a motif four times has a reason, such as arriving with more determination to a point, thus increasing the drama. That is why the student has to identify the structure and decide how far she goes, how to prepare, which notes should be emphasized, and what is the harmonic sense of what is being played. It is not enough to play bar to bar. It is necessary to study the piece in detail. It is also interesting to project the sound to the audience to get their attention.
In this first part of the masterclass, Professor Miriam Fried works on some issues about rhythmical accuracy, pulse and tempo. Then she advises the student on phrasing and accents - not to think note by note, but in bigger groups. Finally, Miriam Fried explains some technical issues related to left hand fingers and pressure.
In general, this second part of the masterclass with Miriam Fried is focused on sound quality and how to improve it. In this sense, Professor Fried gives some advice about bow pressure, movement and distribution, elbow position, coordination, shifts, double cords, weight, and bow speed.
Miriam Fried works with the student some issues about tuning (the first finger is too high), the character of the movement, energy, phrasing, and fingerings. The pressure on the thumb should be released. The professor also focuses on the distribution, direction and quantity of the bow depending on the phrasing. The preparation of the sound is important, as well as the differentiation of the notes -whether they are active or passive- in a certain passage. If the student does not know how to explain what is going on in the music, he is not going to be able to do what he wants.
The professor also talks about harmonic, pressure, and articulation issues in certain musical phrases: scale 'in legato', attention to the harmonic progressions, contrasts, and others.
The student has delivered a good sound, but this movement is like the opera and it should be more declaimed, with a more operatic and exaggerated character. Professor Miriam Fried gives some instructions about articulation and phrasing, and she gives the student some advice on feeling the evolution of the form in the pulse and making contrasts and different colors. Then she focuses on bow positioning and postural corrections. It is necessary to be "connected" and to feel the legato in the fingers. Moreover, Fried highlights the importance of the proportion in the musical decisions (i.e. the vibrato should not be excessive), and she makes other considerations about harmony and resonance. To conclude, Miriam Fried insists on the way to play this Adagio - with generosity and theatricality.
This movement has a playful and cheerful character, which has to be expressed in the performance. Professor Miriam Fried also works on articulation, harmonic and ornamental elements, bow direction, movement of the arm, etc.
Finally, she highlights and lists the elements that produce and change the color of the sound. A performer should think and experiment with all these elements, to combine them in order to get the required sound changes.
The masterclass begins with an explanation about the convenience of playing the reprise, as the Minuet-Trio-Minuet in the classical period, so that the piece finishes in tonic.
The student focuses too much on the first note, neglecting the following ones. Afterward, Miriam Fried corrects some issues about vibrato, phrasing depending on harmony, bow pressure, sound, intervals, and performance attitude.
The explanation begins at the end of the piece and deals with sound, dynamics, and bow use. Professor Miriam Fried insists on this last issue and explains possible bow changes (in specific passages), the right arm movement -like a pendulum and freer- and bow speed. She talks about the position of the left hand in relation with the use of the vibrato.
The fingers are very important while playing because they convey musical information. The sound must be more concentrated, which means that the student must be more conscious of the contact point. It is important to be aware of the other instruments in the orchestra to have a correct balance. It is also interesting that the student makes a visual choreography of the performance and thinks more about the requirements of the piece.
This movement is inspired in the "pas de deux" (ballet), so it should have a less "angular" and more "rounded" articulation and a metric in two bars. The peculiar dotted rhythm of this piece establishes its character. In addition, the professor talks about legato issues, bow speed, weight and bow placing. To finish, Miriam Fried advices the student to pay attention to her own attitude and emotion so that she does not look so mechanical and she gets the required musical mood.
In this masterclass, there are technical corrections on bow technique and articulation and phrasing.
Regarding the bow technique, the bow has to move as if it was dancing and the student must play with more contact between fingers and bow. It is necessary to modify the quantity of bow depending on the different character of the passages.
As per the articulation and phrasing, the sensuality of this piece lies on the triplets, and the secret is to lengthen the second note of each triplet. The articulation must be clearer, thinking in consonants. In the phrasing, join the notes in groups. In case a finger is not being used, it should be off the string.
Corrections on glissando. There are also some comments about general issues, such as attitude and study methods: as musicians, we have the responsibility to correct what we do not like and does not make us happy, we have to experiment with all the possibilities. If something goes well during the study at home, we have to be able to repeat it in front of the audience; to that end, we must carry out a very reflective study, being aware of each movement.
There are some initial general comments about this movement -it is a big line that grows up to the climax and then goes down, yet it does not have a clearly defined sonata form .
After that, Prof. Fried deals with issues such as phrasing, vibrato, dynamics, and articulations. She also makes a brief reflection about the writing by Shostakovich and other contemporary composers.
Professor Fried points out that bow speed and distribution are tools to express emotion. It is important to know the orchestral instruments that take part in certain passages because this has an effect on the required sound balance. She also suggests the student to consider that the musical character is provided by both the "discourse" speed and the agogics.
At the beginning of the masterclass, Miriam Fried focuses on vibrato explanations: speed, bow weight, intensity, connection between the notes.
The type of vibrato depends on what we want to express. Regarding the first movement of the violin concerto, Fried highlights the distant character of the start and other expressiveness issues. She also makes some corrections about dynamics, harmonic analysis, thematic contrast, sound quality and articulations, among others. To conclude, Professor Fried proposes a violin technique exercise to improve the bow technique and therefore the sound quality.
Miriam Fried talks about the virtuoso character of the coda. It is not necessary to phrase each note, the violin part has not thematic interest. However, the important thing is to give form and direction to the groups of notes without interfering with the orchestral theme, and to show contrast in the registers.
The Professor then works issues such as rhythmic precision, sound balance, clarity in the arpeggios, articulation and accents, fingering and shifts, quantity and weight of the bow, among others. Finally, Prof. Fried advises the student on tuning: in certain passages, the student plays higher than the piano because she presses too hard the fingers on the fingerboard.
Professor Miriam Fried works on some issues about the sound and intensity. She also advises the student about the movement of his right arm, his vibrato (more sound is related to the bow, not to more vibrato), the quantity and flexibility of bow that he needs, articulation, tempo without changes, bow control, and other relevant subjects. It is important not to cut the melody and to take into account the character, dynamics and sound required in each moment.
Professor Fried remarks the theatrical character of the piece and compares it with Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier . In this work, it is necessary to have a wider range of energies. In the reprises and the repetitions of the material, it is more interesting to play in a different way.
The student has to be aware of the harmonic changes, as projecting the music. Everything is connected. The phrasing is more open and the colours more exaggerated.
The professor gives advice on bow use, sound, character, chords and vibrato. She also gives some keys about the piece's signification, articulation and rhythm. It needs to be played with more unease.
Professor Fried asks the student about the inspiration of this movement. She makes corrections on phrasing, shifting positions, movements of the right arm, vibrato, and bow speed. It is necessary to make more color changes and to build the character - it should be calm, as if sleeping. The student has to take into account the direction of the phrase and the arrival point. The attack of each note should be made from the beginning of the sound.
The student must communicate with all his body, including his face.
As the piece is a baroque sonata edited by Kreisler , the student has to decide how to perform the character and the baroque color, while maintaining Kreisler's elegance. It is a question of style and how to find the balance without ambiguity.
They make some comments about the most important aspects of the movement, melody - with correct articulation and rhythm, dynamics, vibrato (as singing, as a different color); phrasing - which should be as a text sentence: it needs breaks and different movements of breathing, appoggiatura; the connection of the notes, harmony, and the character of the movement (as a Sicilian dance).
The projection of the sound has to be similar to what singers do, but through the bow.
At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Fried gives general recommendations about the meaning of playing with someone else and about what it implies, in terms of gestures, communication and the rapport among parts. It is important, as musicians, to show the particular characteristic of each music (she makes a comparison between Tartini's Sonata and Tchaikovsky's Concerto ).
Regarding the harmonic aspects, each sound has to be adapted to the harmony and listened to in a more conscious way. Harmonic rhythm is also very important. In the cadenza (completely composed by Kreisler) the harmony in dominant-tonic has to be played with more sound. The professor explains some aspects of the trills: it is necessary to be in time before the trill's passage, so that they are not late. They must be played as if going up the steps.
There is a final recommendation about listening as much as possible, attending master classes with other teachers, and as much information as possible, in order to become an open-minded person.
This piece by Tchaikovsky should be performed with a dancing (vals) and funny (scherzo) character, but the student makes it rather heavy and serious. That is why Professor Miriam Fried focuses on a lighter and more beautiful performance by the student. Down-bow is vertical and the rubato should be flow freer. Besides, the professor makes some corrections about phrasing, harmonic structure and chords. It is important to know the harmony of the piano in order to make decisions and show different colors. As a conclusion, Miriam Fried explains that the way to create emotion is by changing the bow speed.
Professor Natalia Prishepenko remarks the importance of the piano part, which is necessary to be kept in mind. Although the musicians play by heart, it is important that they have the score with them to feel how 'chamber music' is "made" and to be aware of the other parts.
Some indications on the violin's particella and the general score.
The professor explains the weight that must be given to the first notes at the beginning and the right position in relation to the piano for chamber music performance. The student has to focus on phrasing, emphazising the drama, the bridge as the place to project the sound, and the bowings at the end of the movement.
After giving the students some general indications at the end of the performance, Natalia Prishepenko advises them on the maintenance of the intensity from the beginning: bowing and articulation must go with the character of this piece. Afterwards, she makes some comments about phrasing and articulation applied to specific passages.
Natalia Prishepenko makes some comments about the fourth movement of Schumann's Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 110 , such as the "leggiero" character of certain passages, the freedom in the violin and the rapport with the piano, the continuation of the crescendi until the end, and stronger sforzati.
Finally, she adds some general comments about the Viennese chamber music.
After giving the student some recommendations about bow changes, Professor Prishepenko works with her some issues, such as rest points in the piece, high notes in pianissimo, positive attitude and facial expression, suitable moments for making vibrato, and orchestral considerations. She also gives explanations on bow direction regarding the phrasing, tempo issues, different staccati in fast passages, and weight of the arm for double stops.
Professor Pamela Frank asks the student to describe the idea of the piece and the intention of the composer. All the movement is filled with different expressions, which must be underlined. All of this has a strong connection with the melodic aspects and the length of the phrases. In relation to dynamics, all those expressions need more contrast. Professor Frank talks about the rapport with the piano (orchestra part) and insists on rhythm and resolutions (phrase ending).
They also works on bowings. It is necessary to 'sing' more with the bow and play with more passion, to rekindle the bow and even to exaggerate sometimes.
At the end of the movement, the character is 'morendo', so every aspect of the expression extinguish little by little, including the vibrato.
Professor Pamela Frank starts with a brief consideration about the risk of being too much influenced by the recordings, in the case of such well-known pieces as this one. She then compares the works by this composer with those by Mozart (Tchaikovsky's favourite composer). The structure is comprised of long movements and Professor Frank also talks about the orchestration in this composition.
Later on, they work on several issues, such as sound spaces, vibrato, agogics, harmony, phrasing, syncopation and rhythm, character, and rapport with the piano.
In this masterclass, Peter Frankl makes a point about sound quality (it should be more 'beethovenian'), phrasing, weight and attacks, dynamics, and metric issues, among others. Then he also talks about the melodic identification and the harmonic processes for this movement; as well as about the composing procedures by Beethoven. Afterwards, Professor Frankl gives some indications about expressiveness and he uses the Fugue (fourth movement) and Arioso (third movement) in order to explain the agogics and the freedom of tempo in this kind of harmonies.
Regarding the second movement of the Piano Sonata No. 31 , Professor Peter Frankl makes some corrections mainly about agogics, dynamics, accents and articulation; and he also works with the student on sforzati notes
Professor Peter Frankl advises the student to be less strict with the tempo and to wait a little more before the entrance of the Arioso theme. He then gives some indications about sound and legato while the student is playing the third movement of this Sonata.
In this masterclass, Professor Peter Frankl makes some corrections on tempo, agogics and metric issues. Afterwards, he talks with the student about the composer and the character of this movement. Peter Frankl also mentions the differences between the two fugues and two 'ariosos'. After some indications for the execution, they also work on dynamics and voice identification in certain passages.
Professor Rainer Schmidt insists on the phrasing, vibrato and dynamics of the second part of the Minuetto. Moreover, the sound has to be more focused and more concentrated, and to create more tension in some moments. Regarding the tempo, it should not be so fast, and he compares it with Corelli's concerto concerto.
Professor Schmidt also explains the transition from the first movement to the second and works on colour changes and different possibilities.
Other comments about legato and articulation, tuning, tempo in some passages and violin fingering. The group has to breathe together and look for character contrasts to move away the monotony.
Professor Rainer Schmidt gives some indications to the first violin. Later on, he makes corrections on tempo, articulation and contrast between passages. He also focuses on a fragment with two violins and works it separated from the rest of the quartet.
Regarding the bow, the masterclass deals with different strokes, quantity and relaxation of the bow, pressure and weight, and attacks of the first note within a phrase. The Professor also explains the concept of spiccato.
Referring to melodic and expressive issues, the cantabile has to be worked in mezzopiano and the dynamics are more varied in general. The students have to pay attention to the articulation, tuning and sound quality.
Professor Rainer Schmidt ponders on the tempo of this movement: maybe it is so fast because Mendelssohn was looking for a powerful and brilliant character, with large quantities of sound. Regarding the beginning, Schmidt highlights a change of articulation and he asks the students for playing with different vibrato quantity and speed to achieve the best effect.
Rainer Schmidt also talks about the type of articulation and phrasing, the tempo and the dynamics. Then, they focus on the sforzati in a certain passage and they work on it with detail.
After training in order to improve the rapport and bow issues, Professor Schmidt comments the difficulty of Mendelssohn's string quartets and he encourages the students to think about the way of achieving a better performance.
Professor Schmidt advises the students on metrics in order to get a more appropriate character. Then he considers, together with the quartet members, the different accents, entrances, dynamics; the finger position to obtain a better control on the bow pressure, sound balance and color, harmony, and articulations, among other issues.
Additionally, Rainer Schmidt proposes them to find the relationship between the time and the sound, as well as other suggestions related to the bow technique.
Professor Tom Krause talks about Moniusz' opera The Haunted Manor : the plot is about a migrant Polish family in the American Midwest. Regarding the student's attitude, Krause comments that she should release all tension. They work on several aspects of vocal technique: the pronunciation of the vowels "o" and "u", the voice support - which must be higher, and the way to pronounce the "t", thinking in an "h" before. The student has to be aware of the tempo, which is 'piu mosso'.
Professor Krause always insists on the idea that imagination and pictures created in their minds can help to focus a character. In this case, the student can imagine she is a large person, with a big head and an enormous body. He also comments that Polish is a very interesting language from a musical point of view.
As an introduction, Professor Tom Krause explains how the vocal chords work. The student has a cold, so in this case it is more convenient not to sing in a very technical way, but rather to sing as speaking and smiling.
Throughout this aria from Purcell's Oedipus , they work on phonetic issues, vocalic and English pronunciation. For the high notes, it is recommended "using" the whole body.
Afterwards, Professor Krause makes some suggestions about how to sing in a better way the piano notes: she should not narrow the throat in the attack on these notes and support them more.
To finish, the professor also makes some indications about breathing, support and body connection.
First, Professor Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi explains where the work was composed, so that the student knows the composition context and can reproduce this freedom, relaxation, and natural character. Afterwards, they work on dynamics, phrasing, pulse, tempo and other musical issues for this Cello Sonata.
Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi also advises the student to play the chromatic passages with more expressiveness and enjoyment.
In this masterclass, they first work on the pizzicato at the beginning in order to improve the sound, and then Professor Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi makes some corrections on issues such as the left hand, expressiveness, phrasing, rapport with the piano, legato aspects, and vibrato.
Professor Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi comments the tempo of the work after the student's performance. Tsutsumi advices him not to waste the energy of the bow hand beforehand. The intention of the sound has to be shown at the right moment.
The student can sing the smaller notes and do it more fluent, enjoying it while playing.
The professor proposes some bowing changes, e. g., in the Polonesa theme, the second time it appears, the bowings have to be separated because it is a persistent music. They work on shifting the harmonics to get a more reliable position.
All the changes have to be anticipated with enough time. This way, the musical discourse is a continuous process.
Finally, fingerings, bow pressure, quality of sound in chords when the whole bow is working and the need to listen to himself are also aspects commented by Professor Tsutsumi during the class.
The professor starts the explanation at the end of the movement: when the player is at the climax, it is advisable to imagine a soprano singing (Maria Callas). The professor gives indications on trill fingerings, the dramatic meaning of a repetition - and the need to highlight - and the way to play the spiccato, like jumping.
After those corrections, they work on the movement from the beginning: bowings with a prouder character, articulation to clarify all the notes - involving a change of character, and more attention to the harmonic changes, the bowings and the way to get more drama.
This is a romantic movement and the performance is 'too correct', the sound has to be more relaxed and natural in some points. The bow has to push more out of the string and relax more at the end of the bowing.
They talk about how to perform the beginning of the movement and they work on the speed and clarity of the string changes and on the contrast within a sequence.
Wies de Bouve gives an explanation about shifting and suggests keeping the contact point in a slow and expressive passage. It is necessary more bow in the arpeggios and vibrato to distinguish some notes and give more character. The slurs are organized in 4 and sometimes the piano imitates the double bass line (e.g. in the trill).
The student has to show the classical elegance contained in Hindemith's music. When finishing a phrase, we have to coddle it until the end.
The professor mentions the recordings of Koussevitzky playing his own works and he specifically recommends the students to listen to the recording of this Double bass Concerto .
He also gives some indications about character, vibrato, harmony accuracy, and the character of syncopations as if he was describing the sunrise - with a lot of intensity and keeping the tension.
In addition, the professor explains while he is playing how to get a better sound in a certain passage with chromaticism. In the passage alla breve, the student has to think in 2, not in 4 parts, find a different colour - an easier and more relaxing sound - and pay attention to the anacrusis. The professor also advises the student not to look at the fingers to find the position on the string, as he does not need it. He proposes some fingerings, articulations, bow strokes and directions.
The professor mentions some aspects related to phrasing, dynamics, articulation in legato, etc.
Bow changes should be prepared before in a relaxed way and without strong breathing stops to avoid sound interruptions. The character has to be appassionato and, in a certain passage, it is advisable the use of a different string to get better sound. He also makes some comments about fingerings, tuning and bow direction, distribution, speed, and quantity.
Finally, the professor works on shifts in detail, giving some advices and indications for a better practice.
At the beginning of the masterclass, the professor gives general indications about dynamics and colour of the harmonics in a specific passage close to the end of the piece. There is also a brief introduction about the work and the circumstances of its composition - it was commissioned for the film Dr. Zhivago. The professor describes the atmosphere and the character of the scene: first mysterious, then the light comes little by little, and finally it turns painful.
About sound balance, the soloist has to be heard in the moments in which the orchestra plays louder. In a certain passage, it is advisable not to play it as a scale exercise, but more appassionato and with more vibrato (the professor plays the passage to show the student how to do it). The professor also gives some additional comments and corrections about pizzicato, phrasing, harmonics changes and articulation.
The general idea after the student's performance is to play more fluent - the flow always goes ahead- and the professor advises him to always follow the original manuscript. The professor gives indications about phrasing and articulation, about string crossing and shifting, and corrects the bow inclination - with a more circular movement of the arm.
Other corrections are dynamics, pitch duration, character, agogics, ornamentation, contact point with the string, and softer pizziccati - round position of the fingers. Moreover, the professor proposes the student to work on the bass register and points out the harmony that contributes to create a character of 'dramatic surprise' in a certain passage.
The masterclass turns around articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and character.
The professor talks about the relevance of the articulation in the Classical period. It is very advisable to study the manuscript to pay attention to the articulation slurs.
The character of the beginning is prouder and it should be answering the orchestral introduction. The eighth notes in the repeated passages are shorter -it is necessary to change the articulation.
In a specific sequence, it is usual to play Forte-Piano and then go back to Forte.
The professor advises the student not to forget to enjoy the music -in the cases where it is possible to take more time in the phrasing-, and to pay attention to the orchestral base and the tension it creates, at the same time that to the tension of the dissonances.
The masterclass is focused on the quality of sound and the professor insists on the suitability to look up the manuscript and see the annotations on octaves in a certain passage, among others. There are a lot of corrections on the score referred to different articulations - Wies de Bouve compares a passage with another similar by Dittersdorff , use of original bowing, melodic leaps and expressivity.
The resonance of the strings and the chords is essential in this music, and the key to achieve this resonance is to create a "resounding" character. The professor makes a comparison between how a violinist plays and how the character is in certain moments. He also works on the movements and bow speed as well as the contact point in concrete passages.
The professor corrects the pianist's articulation of some passages, melodic line, and motifs' identification. Afterwards, Kocsis explains some aspects regarding the tempo: meaning of Allegro, speed. He also works on issues such as the harmonic progression, dynamics and contrasts, sforzati, expressiveness, hemiola, and the maintenance of the metric pulse. Lastly, there are also some comments on the use of the pedal, trills, sound quality and phrasing.
Kocsis states that the rhythm should not be changed from one passage to the other. He also mentions some aspects related to the articulation, dynamics and sound, among others. The crescendo must be performed in accordance with the phrasing: following a question-answer pattern.
Kocsis also points out the attack on staccato, the accents, and on the use of the pedal in a particular passage, looking for a similarity of sound with a bassoon.
In this video, Zoltan Kocsis comments on the last movement of Beethoven's Sonata No. 18 the projection of the sound in sforzato and forte, the importance of certain notes depending on if they belong to the melody or if they are pedal notes, a more marcato or 'alla italiana' articulation, etc.
Afterwards, they work on issue related to the dynamics, accents, and the metrical freedom or rigor. The professor also explains that he should not use the pedal in some 'non legato' parts and points at the climax of the melody.
Regarding the first movement of Beethoven's Sonata No. 22 , Kocsis explains that the tempo must be slower and that the performer should play as if it was a Minuet.
The student is also given some dynamic advice, about the importance of identifying and highlighting the main melody and other harmonic issues. The professor also talks about the expression of the material and the character, and about how to rely on the pedal to achieve the proper length and articulation of the notes.
Overall, the professor explains that, musically speaking, the performance is correct, but as per the technique, the student should work on the position of the hands, keeping the distances without changing the position. There is a dichotomy: the melody must be emphasized but, at the same time, the notes must remain all equal.
The professor also talks about fingering, left hand, dynamics, sound balance, and attention to the main melody: a 'Perpetuum mobile' feeling. The student must also think about the harmony, avoid using the pedal too much, and, regarding the articulation, emphasize the dominant with a metric accent. To conclude, the professor advises the student to 'experiment' with his fingers and hands.
It is advisable 'not to think' during the performance. The class continues with general indications: agogics, tonality versus tonic, articulation of non legato, pedal changes, chords (resolutions and transitions), phrasing (the connection between notes), dynamics, attacks. The expression should be drier and the character drammatico. The student has to be careful with the last note of the triplets.
The class is focused on general indications about dynamics (crescendo and marcato), articulation in legato, tempo, agogics as the use of the ritardando, modulations and the difference between accompaniment and melody. The character must be more espressivo through the pressure and the tension of the fingers.
In this class, the professor explains how to show the melody and use less the pedal during the harmonic changes to avoid covering them. There are sections where the pedal is needed, but in others, there are different materials apart from the pedal than can also be used. It is also important to focus on the melody.
Kocsis mentions Prokofiev's orchestration with some examples and ponders aloud about the character, parts with new material, phrasing, tonality, sound and expression. He also talks about how there must be a balance between freedom and rigor.
In the end, the professor points out other aspects about different matters of the first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 6 , such as articulation, motifs, dynamics and tempo.
Professor Kocsis advises the student on the use of another score edition. He makes some general indications about the technique of both pedals in Schumann (it is not sure whether the left pedal should be used when playing his compositions), sound, chords, rhythm, balance (outstanding voices) and dynamics.
The professor also focuses on some specific corrections of almost every piece in the Carnaval piece:
III. Arlequin: character, clarity, use of pedal.
IV. Valse noble: long phrasing, appassionato, differences in dynamics.
V. Eusebius: no pedal, character in sotto voce, tender.
VI. Florestan: more serious and ritenuto, annotations on the score without playing. 'Papillon motif'.
VIII. Replique - Sphinxes: rhythm and character at the beginning and then more contrast. The link between the two parts is like in Rachmaninov's music.
IX. Papillons: rhythm, articulation, and fingerings.
X. A.S.C.H. - S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes): recommendation about repetitions.
XI. Chiarina: rhythm, octaves, passionate character, articulation.
XII. Chopin: attention to the melody.
XIV. Reconnaissance: tempo, editions, and authorship (Robert or Clara).
XV. Pantalon et Colombine: articulation, melody, harmony.
XVI. Valse allemande: pedal and staccato.
XIX. Promenade: too intellectual,...