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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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,...