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William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 7 DVD

William Pleeth Master Class Video Volume 7 DVD | WMP7DVD

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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.

7. Beethoven: Sonata in A major, op. 69. Allegro ma non tanto.
Kate Bennett, vcl; Frances Angell, pno.

Kate Bennett makes a rich, luscious sound quality in the famous solo cello opening of this Sonata. He immediately praises her for her choice of fingering when she crosses to the D string for the second note, rather than sliding up the G string as so many cellists often tend to do. At all times, he reiterates how both fingerings and bowings must be chosen to elucidate the musical form. He suggests working on a passage in separate bows first in order to search for ultimate truth. Bowing, he says, has everything to do with phrasing, with form.
When Beethoven wrote this cello sonata, the cello was only just emerging as a prominent voice in relation to the piano. The partnership is all in the performance of such a piece. He does work on ensemble issues much of the time, encouraging the cellist to know whether or not to be prominent in relation to the piano; asking her to take her cue for articulation at times from the piano; and simply being able to give the impression of imitating the piano in the dialogue of this duo Sonata. He again encourages the idea of thinking orchestrally in choosing appropriate colours and articulation to bring different ideas to life.
An attribute which he often demanded his students to find was Courage! There is this passage saying to you, Be careful. Im difficult!, he says. But he encourages the student to aim for a feeling of spirit over one of care. Selma Gokcen, producer of this series, expanded beautifully upon this very point in the speech she gave at Pleeths memorial service: The concern about getting something right on the instrument can breed the wrong sort of effort. Worry about what might happen overtakes the moment, and takes the life out of the moment. William was fond of pointing out how we are our own worst enemy, both at the instrument and in life. Our need for security splits our creativity in two. He would say,Take the leap, go wrong, but live. Then one can learn what is required.

William Pleeth Review: Rob Lewis - London
Volume 7 Beethoven Sonata in A, Op. 69

Textures of sound are explored within this sonata. Pleeth describes the process of choosing bowings and fingerings in order to develop the musical form. This is clear when he demonstrates by following the shape of the music with the bow changes; the music is uninterrupted and each subject becomes more identifiable and clear. This idea is also applied to fingering. Where one of the passages is repeated, the second time he suggests using the open A, and consequently the music grows in intensity and contrast, taking it to a higher plane. He also discusses the importance of the articulation in the second subject, where, by not joining the notes together, the minor section has more dramatic impact. This space in between the notes builds the intensity within the music, conveying Beethovens intent more powerfully.

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