Is having students listen to historical violinists part of teaching these days?
I was talking with a young man who studies with one of the finest teachers in Los Angeles. This lad can play anything. He's also never heard recordings of Kreisler, Elman, Thibaud, Prihoda, Grumiaux, Morini, Francescatti, Kogan, or several other violinists I mentioned.
In most fields of study, including literature and the visual arts, exposure to great artists of the past is de rigueur. Do you think that should be part of any serious violin student's education?
My new teacher suggests listening to old recordings, so yeah I would say it should be. To help with interpretation if nothing else
Isn't that a bit like saying 'should an artist look at great art'?
Thats a good point Elise
I can't speak for others, but the kids in my son's pre-college program listen to lots and lots of old recordings. They also listen to today's players and specialist recordings (ie Baroque). I would guess this student you met is somewhat of an anomaly.
I agree with Susan. Young players today have, thanks to YouTube and services like Spotify, a far more wide-ranging selection of players that they can and do listen to.
Lydia - 'can' undoubtedly, but 'do'? Is there (I really don't know, not mixing with violin students) an attitude in that the old stuff has been superseded by the new and hence can be ignored?
I think the problem is the quality of the recordings. When I listen, I can't get past the poor recording quality, no matter how well people play. I think people are used to having stereo etc. recordings now
Jake - then train your ears. Its a too easy 'out'. For example, I don't think you can find a more beautifully expressive violinist than this:
Elise, I don't think so. The younger generation still listens to Heifetz, Milstein, Ricci, etc. They've probably heard Kreisler, but they might not have listened to folks like Szigeti.
So the late-greats but not the early ones - really the period where the modern style was developed (Heifetz, Milstein, Ricci) but not the old expressive style (Kreisler, Elman, Hassid).
Re ~ 'Late Greats' & "early one's" ..........
Not only listen, but WATCH, when appropriate. When I was struggling to find a bow hold that works for my anatomy, my teacher asked me to find youtube videos of various well-known violists and check out their bow hold.