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 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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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,...