Itzak Pearlman

There is a huge marketing campaign underway here in Baltimore promoting Itzak's performance with the Baltimore Symphony this fall . He will also be making a personal appearance at The Peabody Conservatory which some of my musician friends are  clamoring to attend .

Violin is one of my favorite instruments and my mind was blown the other day when the local news featured a short segment of stunningly beautiful yet demonic violin shredding .

According to my friend that studies at Peabody the topic of Itzak's lecture will be Technique vs Emotion , a subject we have debated here at DRG for years and a subject I constantly struggle with .

I often wonder how classically trained musicians are taught to convey a particular emotion from notes on a score ? Is there agreement that Vivaldi's Spring be happy ?  Is Air on a G string sad ? Is there a " right " way or "wrong " way to play theses classical pieces ?

Some people might listen to Led Zeppelin's THANK YOU and get all lovey dovey while others may be moved to tears .

Comments

  • Hopefully that goes up on YouTube.  I imagine the physical aspects conveying emotion on violin is similar to conveying it on any stringed instrument.  With guitar, it's typically conveyed by finger vibrato, picking dynamics, and perhaps a bit by the player's sense of meter -- before or behind the beat for example.  

    I'm guessing with violin finger vibrato is secondary to bow technique.


    The real difference is that in classical music, you're playing "solos" that are already written rather than improvising on the spot or composing something for an original work.  One would think that would make it MUCH tougher for the player to bring individuality to a part such as a violin solo.  But apparently it doesn't. And classical and/or violin aficionados can tell Pearlman from Jascha Heifetz on the same piece of music easily enough. Interestingly -- perhaps -- a player's tone on violin is a factor in their individuality. 

    Sidenote: With horn players, it's a completely different game.  I was listening to some jazz a while back, and in the golden era of the 50s-60s, it was mostly sax players (and/or trumpet -- Davis, Gillespie) who were the lead guitarists of their day. They certainly had the freedom to improvise the classical players didn't, but I was trying to get my head around what the identifying characteristics of horn players are. Certainly the note choices and speed were factors, but also use the harmon mute for trumpet -- used as a tonal filter, almost like Schenker uses a wah.  Embouchure technique on sax and controlling the airstream into the sax which lets the player voice notes to create growling effects (think Bobby Keys rather than Coltrane) glissandos -- where the player can actually bend the note, etc.
    I'm afraid as I had little experience in subtleties of this field, I wasn't very good at distinguishing Coltrane (unless he was just shredding -- ala YJM) from Sonny Rollins or Charlie Parker (among others).  To me, their tones were a bit different, but you'd probably have to spend as much time listening to them as we do listening to guitarists to pick up on their distinctive qualities. 
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • In some classical pieces are chordal parts without melody, wich are the base for impros. Now, they're no impros anymore because after some moment, directors or who nows who did stop doing it.

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/time-return-improvisation-its-classical-roots/

    In spanish http://loquelasnotasesconden.blogspot.com.es/2013/05/la-improvisacion-en-la-clasica.html

    or...
    http://sinapsis-aom.blogspot.com.es/2011/01/psicologia-de-la-musica-v-sobre-la.html


  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I tried learning how to play violin over a decade ago . I even got a teacher .

    I gave up after about six months mainly due to the fact that no amount of instruction improved my ability to create anything close a musical tone . Much like the guitar natural ability helps . Even the simplest phrases hurt my ears .  My ear could find the notes but the sound was beyond painful . It was worse than two rusty barges rubbing against a box of stray cats . My teacher suggested working on one long sustaining note or trilling two notes slowly . I was living alone at the time and did devote myself . But I never got anywhere . It was all noise . I still have the violin but haven't taken it out since .

    I decided to devote what time I had to " practice " was best spent with the guitar . I developed my own practice routine . I was constantly struggling with technique vs developing a " style " that I could own rather than stealing other peoples licks . I wanted to have a ' signature ' style which I've yet to discover . I've become the sum of all my influences . I find it very difficult to come up with anything original .

    After many hours of discussion with some of the classical musicians I know......one Julliard grad in particular .....it became apparent that guys like us...non classically trained musicians...are left to our own devices . With guitar playing there is really no right OR wrong way . Violin and Flute for example, the students are taught from their first instruction rules and regulations are not optional .

    I was visiting my folks at their "retirement " community and my mom was quick to introduce me to this old codger ,probably in his 90s , who played 1st chair Oboe with The Kennedy Center Orchestra . My mom was telling him , " this is my son the musician " . This old guy got all excited and we had an awesome conversation . He was a Julliard graduate and related how militant his instructors were about proper " reading " and especially technique . As a student it was YOUR duty to find your " voice " and learn to express emotion . The maestros just expected the best students to devote themselves to finding their " inner voice " . Those who succeeded , like this old dude , would be guaranteed lucrative careers as 1st seat players . Those " gifted " people went on to perform while the rest were lucky to find decent orchestra jobs . Most went on to teach .

    So this guy spent the better part of his life as a 1st chair well paid oboe player at The Lincoln Center . He must of done pretty well because this retirement community isn't cheap . Its a country club !  Even more interesting was when we started talking about our instruments . I told him I had a favorite guitar I'd been playing for years and how comfortable I was with it . He told me how lucky I was because most musicians are ona never ending quest for the " perfect " axe. Yeah he said axe...I thought that was cool
  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,114
    Itzhak is so awesome, I have seen him a few times over the years at the Met. You should go if you can because he ain't gonna be around much longer. It's worth it.
  • otcconanotcconan Posts: 5,677
    He is an absolute master, and a once in a generation talent.  I bet Uli pleasures himself listening to him.

  • bourbonsamuraibourbonsamurai Posts: 1,542
    jebbudda said:
    I tried learning how to play violin over a decade ago . I even got a teacher .

    I gave up after about six months mainly due to the fact that no amount of instruction improved my ability to create anything close a musical tone . Much like the guitar natural ability helps . Even the simplest phrases hurt my ears .  My ear could find the notes but the sound was beyond painful . It was worse than two rusty barges rubbing against a box of stray cats . My teacher suggested working on one long sustaining note or trilling two notes slowly . I was living alone at the time and did devote myself . But I never got anywhere . It was all noise . I still have the violin but haven't taken it out since .

    I decided to devote what time I had to " practice " was best spent with the guitar . I developed my own practice routine . I was constantly struggling with technique vs developing a " style " that I could own rather than stealing other peoples licks . I wanted to have a ' signature ' style which I've yet to discover . I've become the sum of all my influences . I find it very difficult to come up with anything original .

    After many hours of discussion with some of the classical musicians I know......one Julliard grad in particular .....it became apparent that guys like us...non classically trained musicians...are left to our own devices . With guitar playing there is really no right OR wrong way . Violin and Flute for example, the students are taught from their first instruction rules and regulations are not optional .

    I was visiting my folks at their "retirement " community and my mom was quick to introduce me to this old codger ,probably in his 90s , who played 1st chair Oboe with The Kennedy Center Orchestra . My mom was telling him , " this is my son the musician " . This old guy got all excited and we had an awesome conversation . He was a Julliard graduate and related how militant his instructors were about proper " reading " and especially technique . As a student it was YOUR duty to find your " voice " and learn to express emotion . The maestros just expected the best students to devote themselves to finding their " inner voice " . Those who succeeded , like this old dude , would be guaranteed lucrative careers as 1st seat players . Those " gifted " people went on to perform while the rest were lucky to find decent orchestra jobs . Most went on to teach .

    So this guy spent the better part of his life as a 1st chair well paid oboe player at The Lincoln Center . He must of done pretty well because this retirement community isn't cheap . Its a country club !  Even more interesting was when we started talking about our instruments . I told him I had a favorite guitar I'd been playing for years and how comfortable I was with it . He told me how lucky I was because most musicians are ona never ending quest for the " perfect " axe. Yeah he said axe...I thought that was cool
    a thing i enjoy about playing with you though, is your ability to let go and just be a child of god(s).  the time to dissect the intricacies of vibrato and bending technique is long gone when you’re in the moment.  you made me practice more, and that’s not a thing i have time for..  lol
Sign In or Register to comment.