Monday, August 18, 2008

Summit Recap Post 4 - Matt Haimovitz Masterclasses

These notes are from both days of the Haimovitz masterclasses

Bach Prelude 2:

-When we play solo, there's no volume competition w/ anyone else
-Take advantage of being all by yourself (more dynamic range)

-There was a battle btwn. the viola da gamba and the cello (cello won of course)
-Baroque music is much closer to renaissance - resonate, don't sustain
-Think in the 18th century

Left Hand:
-avoid shifts - experiment with playing as much in first position as possible.
-D min. has the tonic, subdominant & dominant as open strings
-Open string doesn't need to be hidden all the time
-when you bring a finger down it bounces back

Right Hand:
-Don't make unnecessary accents with string crossings
-Another way to think about them is that instead of shifting w/ your LH, your shifting w/ your RH
-Bring out bass notes w/ bow speed
-Bow is tool for determining dynamic range

-Quiet, intimate opening - bring audience in
-playing quiet is an art
-don't stop using the bow
-it's like an actor's stage-whisper
-Don't accent every note - music is a language
-Opening is establishment of 3 voice lines
-think of choral writing
-Bach is pure - hide the shifts
-Have a sense of rhythm even when there's no beat
-pay attenion to rhythmic differences in bars 1-3
-Intonation can be interpretative (melodic or harmonic)
-Only add vibrato on notes that need it - it's for color
-Think about confession
-Pedals don't need to be sustained
-Even when it's loud, choose which notes to sustain
-Last 5 bars are a 3 voice chorale
-know which notes to emphasize by paying attention to the chord progression: V42, Dm, Sus, Res. -
-It echoes the first rhythm


Prokofiev Symphony Concerto

-Sustain at upper half of bow by maintaining contact pt.
-this results in a more focused, and louder sound
-When you play at the brdige, you don't have to force
-Cello is part of your boddy
-Don't tighten your grip in the upper half of the bow
-Don't lose sound w/ upper shift
-Lower register=russian bass


Bach suite 4

-Sarabande is the "heart" of the sweet
-next movements are the relief movements
-lots of humor
-2 bar phrases/units
-don't bring head down to listen - develop 3rd ear
-16th notes - very busy/light bees
-Note: he did a lot of LH pizz. to develop this
-Make decisions about phrase structure - always different/surprising

-connect - 2 bar phrases
-start beginning w/ circle in right elbow
-always anchor double stops w/ bottom note
-Don't go out of position by thhinking of the upper note
-Keep rhythmic integrity w/ bass so that you don't lose the phrase architecture
-Count out-loud while you practice

Ligetti Sonata:
-Wrote 1st movement for his girlfriend
-Don't have an arguement - it's not agitato
-For pizz/gliss part, don't overdo it - like harp [I actually thought of it like a banjo,a nd liked the performer's idea better ... happens sometimes...]
-Relax LH/think of warmth for lyrical passages
-Matt played it for Ligetti - Hungarian singing
-Follow shape of line, not the property of the bow
-Give the impressions that you're a string quartet
-2nd mvmt. - paganini - devil


Brahms F Maj:
-Sonata form
-Theme in beginning - connect
-Don't stop vibrato on 16ths
-don't get tight in upper register

-Hang off fingerboard
-match vibrato w/ bow
-fast vibrato, narrow width (he demonstrated fast & wide ... this is an effect Apocalyptica uses a lot)
-Make sound w/ bow & leave LH free
-play with as much meat of finger (for main theme) as possible

-find right contact spot for instrument
-No big gestures w/ bow (ie, don't waste the bow by floating out in space after a stroke)
-Coordinating bow change w/ LH is like landing an airplane
-Don't make unnecessary motions, just go for it

-A lot of music is illusion (this relates to phrasing)
-Practice w/ the score
-Vibrate upbeats
-Don't stop singing/Don't be scared of the music
-Don't lift shoulders when in upper register


Elgar Mov. 4

Sound Production:
-Lead w/ upper arm
-If we push w/ gravity, we get "tch"
-String has to vibrate horizontally
-Very rare that when you play forte w/ the bow you also need to play forte w/ the LH
-Sound is a waveform - you want amplification, not cancellation
-Use the whole body, rather than fighting the instrument

-Don't press harder than you need to
-Tension in LH prevents good intonation
-Don't lose overtones when you play loud
-Be in a position where you can dance/feel shift in weight

F# Diminished run:
-little bow & in time
-LH piz
-Hug the strings w/ the bow
-Trust yourself/your bow
-Sometimes we get in our way/should trust our ear

-Leave B before cadena unresolved
-Establish theme before double stops
-Matt commented that he learned unbelievable bowing concepts recently from Mark O Connor
-bow has rhythmic pulse

Concert notes coming soon..

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