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William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 6 DVD

Item # WMP6DVD

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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
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.

6. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33.
Kari Jane Docter, vcl; Peggy Gray, pno.

Dont watch em, darling. Youve seen them before! Anyone used to working with young and developing cellists must be aware of the danger of cellists often wanting to look at their fingers of their left hands, as if this is somehow going to give them some useful information. Of course, as there are no frets or such like on a cello, this is really not a useful means of gaining feedback, and in any case only tends to mess up fundamental posture, interfering with the primary control, and overall sense of balance in the body. His simple advice to the student was to practice in a dark room!
In Tchaikovskys Rococo Variations, he pounces upon the first variation as a place where he feels that the student has clearly spent a significant amount of time working with slow practice prior to performance. However, he feels that this comes across in a negative way in performance. Its got a practice element to it he states. He then goes on to discuss the importance of the way in which slow practice is implemented. The slow practice shouldnt be made ugly. It should be a slow version of what its going to be.
The short interview at the end of this volume is particularly interesting. Jacqueline du Pr had mentioned that an understanding of a sense of architecture was probably the most important thing she had learned from him. The importance of each section sitting within the context of the bigger framework, having a sense of the whole, and knowing where one is going within that are considered vital. But at all times, the spirit must be the foundation.


William Pleeth Review: Rob Lewis - London
Volume 6 Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Op. 33

Pleeth makes it clear that the theme needs to breathe in order to maintain the elegance of the Rococo style. He talks about a little space in between the short phrases so as not to rush them. The overall effect is that the theme is given more poise and the musical ideas come across to the listener with more clarity.
One of the most important things mentioned out of all of the volumes is the idea of practising the slow passages with as much sentiment as they would have when they are speeded up, so that the musical ideas are part of the process of mastering the required techniques. This is particularly relevant to the first variation in the Tchaikovsky, where the staccato triplets must have life in them, especially in the left hand.
 

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