Who knew Spiderman could dance the Lindy…!
This is my last and final post of Artist of the Month. It’s been fun, however, this is it. I have other things to focus on after this, like my oral exams, remaining comp exams, and my recital on May 2. Holy crap, so many things! Well, here is it, enjoy this last horrah from me on this subject matter!
Max Rostal…who’s that? A violinist!!! (duh!) Well, he’s a 20th century violinist and violist. Yes, he joined the dark side and played viola as well. But all I read about him is about his violin playing. He’s More importantly, his specialty is 20th century music on the violin. Look up his info (thank you Wikipedia). He studied under Carl Flesh (who is known today for writing his famous blue scale book that a lot us violinist use today). He made premier recordings for contemporary composers and is known for his recording of Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2 which unfortunately, I couldn’t find an online recording to show, maybe y’all can look it up and find it, but have a listen, it’s great. In Britain, he is acclaimed for his sweet, transparent tone, rhythmic drive and incisive attack. Cool stuff…
He was ultimately the Professor of the Berne Conservatory and produced many good pupils (some of which were from the Amadeus Quartet). So yes, he’s legit.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/max-rostal#ixzz1JoREveV6
But on here, I want to do a little comparison. Of his sound from a classical piece, contemporary piece, and a romantic like the Korngold in this recording:
Here’s apparently a rare recording of him playing the Korngold in Berlin in 1924. This is definitely from his younger days and it’s a great video as well with pictures of him and his records…take a listen!
Or how about this of the Tartini Concerto in G minor…let’s go to something more classical…
Very bright sounded indeed! He seems very careful with his sound. Definitely has the fast vibrato which seems to be very typical of the old Russian style of playing. Definitely a lot more mature from his earlier recording, just in his musicality!
Finally, one of my favorite pieces (and movements): The Ravel Sonata No. 1 II: Blues
He’s known for his playing in 20th century music, and well, to by honest, it really shows in his interpretation of this!
Enjoy! TTFN :)
Suzuki Practicum II
Prof. Sandy Reuning
Prelude and Berceuse: Suzuki Teaching Points
Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木) Born October 17, 1898 – January 26, 1998). He was a philosopher and violinist who founded the international Suzuki method (Talent Education) of music education. Considered an influential and controversial pedagogue, he often spoke of the ability of all children to learn things well, in the right environment.
Prelude and Berceuse:
· **THIS PIECE IS ALL ABOUT TONE**
· Great piece for a group class
· Can teach without the use of music
· Key is in G-minor.
· For the beginning G-minor chord, Suzuki did it where he just lifted his first finger and allowed his fingers/hand to play the G and D instead of lifting the whole arm.
· Mm 4-5, the 3rd finger slide up to the G, do not start on the previous note then slide, slide and arrive to the G.
· Mm. 6-7, it is one up bow, save bow!
Con expressivo (with expression):
· For the second section, don’t use the mute, Suzuki didn’t use it.
· This is from apparently a “carpenter’s song” from Matsumoto, Japan
· This is an opportunity to have a beautiful sound while still being soft.
· Be sure to just take your time throughout this part!
· The next section is the same as the beginning, just be sure to slow down and ritard at the end.
Teaching tone on the violin is the SINGLE most important aspect in playing to a beginning child. Here are my writings on Suzuki’s philosophy and teaching points on tone with “tonalization.”
Suzuki and Tonalization
Dr. Suzuki coined the word “tonalization” from the word “vocalization.” Vocalists use these exercises to warm up their voices to produce a good sound. The same idea goes for developing good tone on a violin. Suzuki believed that tone is the single most important thing to first teach and develop above all other things. Suzuki used to wake up at 5 am and listen to the recordings of Kreisler as he admired his great sound. He considered Kreisler as his teacher in good tone and always referred to him in his teaching about tone. He talks about playing on the Kreisler highway to get the best sound (in the middle between the bridge and fingerboard). He supplemented his books by using a lot of Kreisler pieces. Suzuki also wrote “Prelude and Berceuse” as it was a good piece for himself to play for the children to showcase good tone. It can take years for a child to good tone.
Suzuki in the earlier books uses open strings instead of the 4th finger. He saves this until later books because he wants students to get used to listening and having a good open string sound. Perfect intervals must be tuned to the open strings and compared for intonation purposes. Review is very important for developing good tone. When you are in a higher-level book, a child should always review a piece from a previous book. For example, a child in book 4 should now play with a better tone than when they were in book 2. EX: Reviewing Chorus from Judas Maccabeus; that child should play it at a book 4 tone level. They will be able to play these reviewed pieces from earlier books with a better tone. On the next page is a list of exercises on ways of teaching how to produce a good tone.
· Use Suzuki’s book on “Tonalization”
· Pluck an open string as that is the purist ringing sound you can get. Then play the same open string you plucked with a whole bow to match the ringing sound.
· Tonalization exercises in his Tonaliziation book and written all throughout the earlier books. Starts in G major and then do it in G minor to listen to the ringing notes.
· Suzuki says each note’s tone should sound like an open string.
· Always listen to the ringing tones (13 points of resonance on a violin in 1st position).
· A Suzuki exercise on muscle memory. EX: Playing 3rd finger D on the A string, then putting the hand down, and placing it back up to see if you can remember where that note is. Do this to get the ringing tone with the whole bow as well.
· Simple exercise before beginning a lesson is long tones on open D and G strings to focus on nice bow changes, ringing tones, and feeling arm weight transfer.
· To get a good sound, one should feel grounded to the earth.
I’m not sure I would have ever realized this had it not been pointed out to me.
Cutest thing too, every time I take out my violin to practice, my cat goes nuts, starts meowing continuously, purring, jumps near my chair where I practice, and rolls down and sleeps while continually meowing and purring. It’s the cutest thing. Obviously Tigger loves it when I play it!
Suzuki Practicum II
Prof. Sandy Reuning
II: Presto From Sonata No. 11 in Major: Porpora Teaching Points
Nicolo (Antonio) Porpora (August 17, 1686 – March 3, 1768) was an Italian composer of Baroque operas mostly (he did write 12 violin sonatas) and teacher of voice.
**Review the bariolage bow stroke, maybe do part of the Bach Gavotte in Book 5**
**Do the bariolage bowing on the A and D string to the motion, then the same thing on the A and E string, etc**
**Good group class piece**
· practice two notes blocked for hearing intonation before separating them into the bariolage stroke
· DO NOT start too fast!
· The 3rd and 4th lines, is very hard to get, make sure you practice them slowly before adding the middle slurs, then add them and increase the speed for accuracy.
· Before of the direction the bariolage stroke changes (from A to E, or from E to A before the trill section).
· Last line of the first page: make sure the rhythm is correct!
o Make sure the slurs for the runs and trills are in the same direction.
o For intonation, practice the runs in rhythms, slowly.
· First measure of the second page: make sure the trills are like eighth notes.
· Second line down, “un poco sostenuto” means a little slower for this part! Before going back to the “a tempo.”
· A Tempo:
o Practice these separate bows first before slurring these string crossings. Then practice them blocked, before putting them SLOWLY slurred.
· The third line down, make sure to practice the changes in bariolage bowings from the E to the A string to the opposite.
· The last line:
o The first measure of the second line, notice there are double stops on the open A, make sure to make these sound out.
o Sostenuto means slow down!
o Slow down the ending, as it is rit.
o The last 2 chords, place the bow before pulling the chords to avoid a “crunch” sound.
Artist of the Month for April: Giovanni Battista Viotti
Well folks, it’s the time of the month again, to write about the Artist of the month. This time, it’s this dude named Giovanni Battista Viotti (long name, eh?)
Now, I’ve been getting some people saying “you’re a slacker and not doing an actual project for AOTM!” However, look at my blog, I post good stuff on it all the time. I’m sharing everything as a part of it, all my teaching points for pieces that are valuable for the violin repertoire. I’m sharing, all of it. So no slackin’ for me buddies! I could be like Paganini and keep everything a secret…;)
Anyhow, to my point:
I have people now looking at this that are “music dummies” so I will write it so others can understand what I’m saying too, so I don’t look too much like a blogging nerd. :P Anyhow, a little background information I found interesting that I dug up about him. I’m not going to go grave detail because, well whomever invented Wikipedia is a bloody genius and you can look him up there. :P
He’s known mostly as a composer, but he was also an influential Italian violinist. He owned a Strad (which is known as some of the finest most expensive instruments every made…they’re worth millions) which is now known today as the “Viotti Strad” (original name, eh?). He taught Pierre Rode (who wrote etudes “studies” that most of us violinist use today) and another Pierre, Pierre Baillot which were important influences on Rodolphe Kreutzer (another guy who wrote etudes that I even use today). He also taught a guy named August Duranowski, who was an influence on Niccolo Paganini. Shoot, all these influences…no wonder he’s a notable “artist of the month.” ;)
So many influences, could this be how be became such a good composer?
So…he composed twenty-nine violin concertos, which were an influence on Ludwig van Beethoven (look, another influence)! The clip above is Izhak Perlman’s recording of No. 22 in A minor, 1st movement (written in 1792 in case you were wondering…). Why I want to talk about this? Well, this recording of Perlman is the recording of the piece from his album “Music from my childhood.” Which means, it’s definitely played by many advanced students, and the most performed of all the concertos. The other concertos are of similar but pretty much never heard. Why this is, I do not know… However, in 2005, violinist Franco Mezzena recorded them all in one set.
What brings me to my point in all this. Perlman recorded all his childhood pieces that he dearly loved in his album, and this was one of them. However, I never hear other works by Viotti. Why is this if all the other violin concertos are similar in quality? Why is this one chosen to be the most popularly played?
I mean, I can honestly say, I’ve heard it so many times, I’m quite sick of it…however, it is a very good concerto. I’m not sure if the cadenza in this recording is by Viotti or by Perlman himself. But I would encourage you all to listen to the other movements of this piece, and his other violin concertos.
Thoughts anyone? :)