Menuhin Competition Masterclasses

Edited: May 18, 2018, 10:22 AM · Just to share that the Menuhin Competition Channel in Youtube has uploades this year's masterclasses by
Pamela Frank
Henning Kraggerud
Joji Hattori
Maxim Vengerov

They are fantastic, so gratitude to the Channel and I think it will be of interest to most.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h27r4B6F1dg&list=PLyXm-YQzD4q77rEtJiTzXuSlP8xQuU6Hz

Replies (19)

April 27, 2018, 4:37 AM · Thanks Carlos!
April 27, 2018, 10:05 AM · Thanks - and they're in 1080P too!
Edited: April 29, 2018, 12:13 AM · I'm listening and viewing all the 8 hours of these masterclasses. Just have the Vengerov one to go.

What strikes me is that there is a general level of good intonation and technical wizardry - but in a few cases a dreadful lack of musicianship, phrasing and colour, and in one or two examples awful sound. Of course there are some who show some good sound and musicianship and a couple of players who exhibited outstanding musical, technical and phrasing ability. However, the general trend was for flashy playing and little else. This must be a reflection of the sort of teaching going on which emphasises flashy playing at the expense of sound and phrasing, and colour.

The masterclass jury without exception so far have gone out of their way to say this as well, with great emphasis on musical and interpretive outcomes, and especially pointing out harmonic structure in the music.

Very interesting masterclasses, and one can learn a lot and be reminded of some things we may have forgotten.

April 29, 2018, 12:33 AM · I really liked Vengerov's ideas on Carmen and Bach's sonata no.2
Compared to his RAM master classes that i watched on master class foundation it seems that he changed a lot.besides musical aspects; He pays more attention to scientific approach and sharing pedagogical informations.he was super fun with the examples he used and i also liked his critical comments and how honest they were.
Pamela Frank's master class on Brahms sonata was also full of great ideas.
April 29, 2018, 12:36 AM · Yes, the Pamela Frank masterclass was outstanding and I intend to listen to that one again.
April 29, 2018, 2:51 AM · I watched the masterclasses with great interest and think it's wonderful the Menuhin Competition made them accessible. I've always loved Vengerov as a teacher as well as a performer, so I enjoyed his masterclass very much. I gained the most insight from watching Pamela Frank and Henning Kraggerud go back to the score and work on structure and harmonies - with remarkable results, I find. That was inspiring and fun to watch.
Btw, I think Pianist Nicola Eimer was superb during the whole competition.
Edited: April 29, 2018, 4:24 AM · She certainly was - what a heroic attitude, even when confronted with near sight reading. She oozed charm and musicianship and made everything sparkle. I've just heard the first of the Vengarov players, and just about everything V said had also crossed my mind, especially the overplaying and killing of his sound by too much bow pressure. He had plenty of technique but wrongly directed, and being young can get away with it, but wait till he's 40 plus!

So far an excellent masterclass. I've been at masterclasses here in London a while back where Maxim was a bit disappointing - but now he has really got the gift.

Edited: April 29, 2018, 5:37 AM · "but in a few cases a dreadful lack of musicianship, phrasing and colour, and in one or two examples awful sound. "

To

"However, the general trend was for flashy playing and little else. "

Firstly, I think that suggests a fallacy of composition? :) (from a few cases to a general lack).

Secondly, there are very young women and men, not yet mature artists with an extensive rich background. It is genuinely impressive what they have to offer at their age and judging them acontextually will not yield a realistic judgement.

Excellent young players really with very bright futures.

April 29, 2018, 5:57 AM · IF you read my post properly you will see I said "in a few cases" and went on the praise some of the excellent young musicians. Please re-read the posts.
Edited: April 29, 2018, 6:05 AM · I quoted you saying "the general trend was for flashy playing and little else".

"Little else."

I don't have bad faith or intention of misreading.

April 29, 2018, 6:58 AM · Yeah I kind of read it the same way as Tammuz. But it doesn't matter, I'll make my own judgement on that score. And remember that many of us have always argued that technique has to be there to provide a foundation for musicality.
Edited: April 29, 2018, 7:33 AM · That "little else" comment applied to one or two players and NOT to everyone. Maybe I wasn't clear. But I think you are trying to split hairs (of which I have many!)

However, the second young 13 year old in the Vengerov class really shows huge potential. If he were to have a course of study with a fine musician like Maxim I'm sure he would by age 18 have won some major competition, especially with a better violin. The level of playing at the top of this competition is pretty staggering. However, the lesser talents will still get good jobs in orchestras (if they still exist) and some will be concertmasters I'm sure.

I'm not sure what age the junior section finishes at? Probably 12 years? This meant he lost out on winning the junior group (probably).

What I forgot to mention is that Mr V is giving a wonderful masterclass on left hand technique and bowing. Just watch when he demonstrates - the left hand is amazing and of course the bow. Is he playing on a Guanarius? I will check.

April 29, 2018, 7:27 AM · @Peter Charles: The Junior section finishes at 15 years. The young player in question, Nurie Chung, didn't make it past the 1st round. (Here is his performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBEfuArGPlU)
Edited: April 29, 2018, 7:45 AM · Thanks Katarina - that surprises me! In my opinion he was many times better than the two winners. But obviously the judges felt differently - but maybe Mr V wanted to make up for that in the masterclass, having spotted his potential. (There are a lot of judges so maybe it led to compromise winners - but I'm only guessing, as this happens).
April 29, 2018, 7:49 AM · Well, Katarina, I listened to some of the first round in the link you gave. In my opinion he was excellent and made a lovely sound with musical phrasing - and was streets ahead of the winners. But what can one say? I bet Mr V was impressed enough to want him in the masterclass. But then this is just my opinion. What did you think? (Maybe ten year olds impress more than thirteen year olds and the expectation is that they will get good by thirteen?)
Edited: April 29, 2018, 8:32 AM · "Maybe ten year olds impress more than thirteen year olds and the expectation is that they will get good by thirteen?"

Peter, that is what I was thinking. I certainly don't know better than a jury of seasoned violinists and superb teachers (as witnessed in the masterclasses) and I certainly don't think they fell for "cute" and "flashy". After all, in the course of the competition they put the competitors to the test in many different aspects, eg. chamber music in collaboration with pianist and guitarist, freestyle improvisation, orchestra leading, so I think they were after all looking for well-rounded musicians in the making. All juniors are superbly talented and the overall playing level incredibly high. For huge talents like this two or three more years of learning, performing, gaining experience and developing musically certainly makes an enormous difference and I can imagine that this was taken into account, when 10 to 15 year olds were competing; the jury was at pains to stress that with competitors of that calibre in the end the decisive factors were tiny and often down to personal preference of interpretation.

That said, being just an amateur who, unlike the jury, doesn't know my violinistic behind from my elbow, I had my own preferences, too. I would have liked to hear Nurie Chung, who is indeed very impressive, at least in the semi-finals. As for the finalists, the two winners were not my top favourites, either. I thought the Brazilian Guido Sant'Anna is a very fine and interesting player, as is Clara Shen with her very natural elegance and musicality. But in the end I applaud all of these young artists and think it's great that through the possibility of live streaming so many people were able to tune in - according to the officials they had more than 1 mill. clicks world wide.

April 29, 2018, 8:44 AM · I'm not alluding to this competition but I have heard some horror stories where certain favours were given to certain players - some Russian examples may come to mind. Anyway, they are just competitions and the important thing is that they draw attention to some non winners in a good way. Sometimes the winners don't go on to lasting fame and disappear from the scene, whereas a non winner might succeed in the end and become quite well known.

Overall the standard was very high in the Menuhin competition and I'm sure there will be some successful outcomes. I thought the masterclasses were excellent and gave us all a lot of food for thought. After all, we are never too old to learn from others, thank heavens! The fact that we never stop learning is a good thing and keeps one young, and I'm working on some of the ideas and techniques suggested from those masterclasses. Teachers can also pass on some of these ideas to their pupils so everyone gains.

April 29, 2018, 5:09 PM · Some really marvelous coaching!!!!!!!!!
May 16, 2018, 8:56 AM · I total agree all of you: 3years later, at 13 will be better and fatanstic coaching!!!! Tone productoon, hard scraching sounds, unclear Bowing in tone, wobbly and Intonationetc, all will get improve. . Interpretation very superficial.

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