V.com weekend vote: Do you look at the score? border=0 align=

V.com weekend vote: Do you look at the score?

June 23, 2017, 10:23 AM · In an article earlier this week, violinist Nicholas Kitchen shared the system he has devised so that his entire quartet (the Borromeo Quartet) can read straight from the score of any given quartet they are playing. That means that at all times, they can see all four parts: violins, viola and cello. He said that this has absolutely revolutionized the way they work together, in a very positive way. They like it so much that now they always read straight from the score, whether in rehearsal or performance.

Is it necessary to look at the whole score of something you are playing, to see what the piano is doing or what other members of the chamber group or orchestra are doing? To be very honest, no. You can get by without doing that, and I certainly have.

But is it a far richer experience? Will you have a better sense of the music? Will you work better with a pianist or with a group, if you know what the other musicians are playing and have thought about why? Certainly.

You might be thinking, "Look, I'm a beginner. What score?" In many cases, it's simply the piano part, and it can be very enlightening to see the harmonies and other voices -- even if it's hard to process at first, the more you look, the more you will start to see.

If you are more advanced and playing a concerto, you might start with a piano part. But if you want to get more in-depth, you can try going to IMSLP and downloading the orchestra part. A few examples of what you can find: Seitz Concerto No. 5; the Accolay Concerto;the Bruch Concerto and hundreds more. Scroll down on this page and find a huge list of student concertos.

If you are studying something for a recital, competition or to be part of a concert repertoire, well just go buy the score, or download it in a way that you can mark it up and keep it. If you are new to score-reading, University of Texas violin professor Brian Lewis recommends beginning with Mozart Concertos: get the Dover score (or follow the score on IMSLP), then while listening, follow the solo part, then violin parts, other treble-clef instruments, then expand from there.

Please participate in the vote and share your experiences and thoughts about using a score and how you get to know the other parts in a piece you are playing.

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Enter to win a CD of Rachel Barton Pine's newest album

Enter to win a CD of Rachel Barton Pine's newest album, Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other works. It includes Nicolò Paganini's 24 Caprices as well as his "Duet for One," Op. 6; "Caprice d'adieu" Op. 68; and a work by Rachel Barton Pine called "Introduction, Theme and Variations on "God Defend New Zealand," inspired by Paganini. Enter now! (Ad)

For the Record, Op. 24: Kenji Bunch's 'The Snow Queen' ballet; Rachel Barton Pine's Paganini; Dragon Quartet border=0 align=

For the Record, Op. 24: Kenji Bunch's 'The Snow Queen' ballet; Rachel Barton Pine's Paganini; Dragon Quartet

June 22, 2017, 2:06 PM · Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com's weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

The Snow Queen
Orchestra Next
Kenji Bunch, composer

Disney took a lot of liberties in "Frozen," its retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson tale, "The Snow Queen," but the Eugene Ballet Company aimed to stay true to the story when it created its own ballet, which was premiered in April of this year. This is a recording of the original, 100-minute score by Portland composer and violist Kenji Bunch. In Anderson's story, childhood friends Gerda, a girl, and Kay, a boy, are separated when Kay is blinded to the good of the world by shards of a frozen mirror made by Satan. Kay is taken to the Ice Palace of the Snow Queen, and with help from various other characters, Gerda rescues him there. "Helping to tell this hauntingly beautiful but entirely wordless story for close to two hours was, simply put, the largest undertaking of my career to date, by a longshot," Bunch said.

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Nicholas Kitchen Examines the Extended Expressive Language in Beethoven's Manuscripts border=0 align=

Nicholas Kitchen Examines the Extended Expressive Language in Beethoven's Manuscripts

June 20, 2017, 10:43 PM · Chances are, if you are looking at the modern sheet music version of a piece by Ludwig van Beethoven, you are not seeing the whole story.

That's because Beethoven had an enhanced system of musical notation that was far more detailed than what we see in a typical score today.

"His attention to detail is inspiring, meaningful ad worth paying attention to," said violinist Nicholas Kitchen in a lecture he gave at the 2017 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School called, "From the Hand of Beethoven: a new world of expressive marks from the manuscripts."

Kitchen is a founding member and first violinist of the Borromeo String Quartet and teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music. He began to notice -- and then unravel -- the mystery of Beethoven's system of extended markings when he gained the ability to read directly from Beethoven's manuscripts. Keep reading...

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