William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 2 DVD

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William Pleeth, teacher of the legendary Jaqueline du Pre' and many other internationally-recognized cellists, celebrated his eightieth birthday in 1996. To mark the event, a series of eight, one-hour films were made of his cello master classes at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Snape, England. The filmmakers captured William Pleeth in some of his finest work ever as a master teacher, in the best-known and loved repertoire for the cello: the Elgar Concerto, Beethoven, and Brahms Sonatas, the Hadyn D Major Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.

William Pleeth DVD: Synopsis/reviews>/b>
Reviewer: Helen Neilson, London.

In 1996, Selma Gokcen produced a series of DVD recordings of William Pleeths masterclasses at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies. This unique series is an important addition to the historical cellistic literature, celebrating the life and work of this highly respected cellist and teacher who influenced the paths of numerous cellists around the globe. He is perhaps most famously known as the teacher of Jacqueline du Pr, but led a life where he helped generations of developing cellists. He also enjoyed an illustrious performing career based in the United Kingdom, following his Leipzig Gewandhaus debut aged fifteen.
2. Barber: Sonata, op. 6. Allegro ma non troppo.
Veronica Freeman, vcl; Carole Presland, pno.

Bad-tempered! Youve got a temper, havent you? Use it then, darling! The supremacy of the spirit or emotion of any musical phrase or gesture is always considered the vital driving force. He encourages the player to utilise what is already present within, to explore and realise her own potential. Throughout the series, he discusses the musical rationale behind technical considerations such as choices of bowings and fingerings. However, he emphasises that the emotion must never be separated from the rational choices which must be made. The emotion and physics sit in one anothers hands. Undivorceable.
His awareness of natural tendencies is acute on many levels, and he articulates this in particular with respect to timing patterns. Any rubato must sit in a framework... If you have your frame, you can move around within that. This regard for the structure of expressive timing patterns, whose formal investigation by scientists is only now in its infancy, clearly comes from his innate feeling and understanding as a musician, and from his own sensitivity to the supremacy of musical form.
An interesting cellistic issue which he addresses in this particular episode is the balance between the left and the right arms. He points out that if too much force is used in the left hand, this can detract from the weight available to make sound with the right. What in fact is needed is more release in the left hand, and therefore greater freedom in the right. We cant make holes in the cello with the left hand but you can break the cello with the right. (Demonstrates weighty bow arm!)

Wliliam Pleeth Review: Rob Lewis - London

Volume 2 Barber Sonata, Op.6

Pleeth focuses on sound production at the beginning of Barbers Cello Sonata, making sure that there is continuous resonance and quality. He talks about the contact point of the bow on the string, and demonstrates how different moods can be created. The Barber Sonata needs an intense sound at the beginning, and the way to achieve this is discussed at great length, making sure the bow is in contact with the string and not skating on the surface.
The shapes of the phrases are also discussed, and the pupil is encouraged to take risks with fingerings, with the overall aim being that as the intensity grows, the fingerings and sound produced should all work together to capture the emotion of the music.
He also demonstrates ways of making the faster passages retain clarity by articulating each note with the bow. This helps project the sound from the very bottom notes on the cello, right through the whole range of the instrument. This emphasis on resonance is further expressed in the second subject, where Pleeth also talks about the importance of sitting in the frame work of the piece rhythmically speaking, to allow movement within the theme.

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