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William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 5 DVD

William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 5 DVD | WMP5DVD

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About This Item

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 Books & DVDs: Synopsis/reviews
Reviewer: Helen Neilson, London.

In 1996, Selma Gokcen produced a series of Books & DVDs 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.

5. Haydn, Concerto in D major, Hob VIIb: 2. Allegro moderato.
Sheena Mckenzie, vcl; Peggy Gray, pno.

In Pleeths session on Haydns D major concerto, we get the impression that he may have previously taught this student. Therefore, there appears to be a slightly different balance, with his comments related directly to the music, and less an extended discussion of philosophical points. For anyone studying this piece, his suggestions of various bowings and fingerings would certainly be useful for consideration. At all times, the sense of the figures is paramount in this intricate piece, which he calls the worlds most difficult concerto.
In terms of the approach to the passagework, he encourages the student to get away from the mentality of approaching scales as presented in the study book. Reminding her that scales in the study book have no sentiment, he maintains that many cellists tend practice them wrongly as a result. At many times, he reiterates the importance of knowing the cello backwards. He mentions at various points throughout the series the value of really being secure in the knowledge of where the notes are all across the cello. Also, the importance of release in the left hand is addressed in this volume.
The most vital point, which he talks at great length about in each session, is the problem of string players choosing what he terms convenience fingerings. He at all times encourages them to think first from the music, rather than from a place of what sits comfortably under the hand on a string instrument. It sounds like stirring mud! he exclaims at one point when disenchanted with the choice of colour a certain fingering produces. Pleeths feeling was that we must think first as musicians, regardless of the particular technical challenges of whatever instrument we happen to be playing on. Were supposed to be musicians on that instrument.

William Pleeth Review: Rob Lewis - London
Volume 5 Haydn Concerto in D major

In order to make the opening theme clearer, Pleeth talks about the need to personalise the bowing to allow the music to breathe instead of just following the written notation. He discusses how artists have to think for themselves about what is the best way to let the music speak, whether it is through changing the fingering or the bowing in order to express the character of the music. In one example, where the pupil slides up using a harmonic in the opening theme, another fingering is suggested which allows the shift to be more expressive. The idea of being adaptable to different fingerings is an important one, and William Pleeth discusses how cellists should be able to vary their fingerings without too much thought or practise. In the Haydn he illustrates his point with a D-Major scale run in the opening section. He offers several fingerings, all of which give a different character to the music. He mentions that the pupil has to choose the fingering that makes the passage speak in the best possible way.

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