February 2006

The Art of Interpretation

February 21, 2006 21:33

Just got an amazing recording and I laugh.

Isaac Stern and Alex Zakin playing Prokofieff Sonatas. The F Minor Sonata is a real challenge in many ways and it's funny listening to Stern - so "matter of fact", yet really interesting choices in fingerings, bowings (particularly what sounds like ricochet in the last movement). All incredibly convincing playing.

Is that what we strive for?

Why I laugh - that sonata has been floating around me since 1996, when two people at Rice played it on graduate recitals. Have since then listened to Pierre Amoyal, Gidon Kremer, and Isaac Stern - of course very curious now and wanting to hear more interpretations, especially Berl Senofsky's.

The mark of a true artist is that - being convincing. Every one of these fiddle players I've mentioned plays differently and the pianists are all different, yet there's something magical in each performance. The thought "Of COURSE it should sound that way" combined with "...but that's the only violinist that can make it sound like that".

While we have to be true to the score, we also have to be ourselves, our emotional, analytical, violinistic selves. A challenge, a journey - a joy.

Archive link

Asking for thoughts on learning repertoire

February 16, 2006 02:29


Bartok 2 and Prokofieff as well as Bach G Minor. I'm laughing a bit now at the idea of learning Bartok 2. Why? In 1994 someone suggested that I learn both Bartok #2 and Szymanowski #2. I tried Bartok #2 in '98 and neither my brain nor my fingers could get around it. Now, however, some things are starting to click.

Why do we, as we get older, learn new repertoire? To challenge ourselves, to grow?
Honestly, I have not learned Tchakovsky or Brahms, but know Elgar, Barber, Khachaturian and Mendelssohn.

Auditioning, they ask to hear Brahms/Sibelius/Tchaik/Prokofieff/Bartok/

Any thoughts out there? Parts of Bartok actually feel really EASY, but it also seems to be about a different kind of concentration.

1 reply | Archive link

Prokofieff Sonatas

February 8, 2006 04:15

Well...after "recovering" I have just started the Prokofieff F Minor Sonata - again. This time the goal is to get it really performance ready and there is a pianist, someone that I knew a while ago, who's game. This is exciting and, yes, humbling - the guy has played on the Myra Hess series and is agreeing to play a concert with ME?

The Prokofieff Sonatas are great works and the F Minor is particularly compelling in many ways. Still his language, still challenging, but in some ways a lot more rewarding and much more captivating than the D Major - would love to hear thoughts on this from people.

Archive link

More entries: June 2006January 2006

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop



Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine