What Makes A Soloist
I started the violin late at 12 years old. While my technique was not quite fully established many other things were such as my sense of musicality. After two years of playing, I had my first solo experience performing the cadenza of Capriccio Espagnol. Approaching my 5th year of playing, my technique has improved greatly and now I can work on more complex pieces such as the Bruch and Mozart Concerti. However, the soloistic edge I had in my early years seems to not come through as much. Has anyone else ran into this clash of technique and musicality and if so how do you find a healthy balance between the two ?
Greetings?it seems to me much of the answer lies in the question you ask at the end of your post. You are certainly asking an interesting thing, but there is ultimately no clash between technique and musicality. Real Technique emerges and develops as a function of musical needs and technique itself is the means of expressing your innate musical impulses so one should not make such a strong conscious mental decision to keep them separated.When you start making a distinction between the two, practicing one while leaving the other standing outside the room things cannot go well. There is no integration of heart , mind and body.
Ben I am not really in a position to give advice to a budding your artist as yourself, but a concrete example of what Buri wants to say (I think) is that, say, Flesch scales, or Dont etudes and the like, the hard technical stuff, you should practice them as if real music, i.e., never switch off your musicality.
What makes a soloist?
Buri - I wish every aspiring violinist, heck musician, could read your post. Bang on.
Jean, I like what you said about etudes. I am sort of intermediate I guess and I have an etude book which I love (Kayser). There is a song in each etude and I try to bring it out. There is sometimes more satisfaction in that than in the other pieces I am assigned to learn.
Great discussion. I've never been a professional musician, but was a serious amateur for most of my life, I am still proud to say that it is my most dear art form. I think I've said this elsewhere (and so have a few of you), but I believe that at its heart, music is an "in-the-moment" art form. And there are few other aspects of music as significant as the instrument that most closely parallels the human voice - the violin (and it's stringed cousins).
Ben, I will venture that your "soloistic edge" has not gone downhill, but instead that you have become a more skilled and critical listener than you were before. If so, it is nothing unusual. Pretty much goes with the territory.
I'm with David - Sometimes there are benefits to having the unselfconsciousness of someone who hasn't quite learned to hear themselves. We may objectively play worse, but nerves may not be a factor, so we feel good about our performance. As we get better and train our ears, we seek to bring that sense of freedom to our newfound technical abilities, and when we can work at levels that raise our confidence bit by bit, we find we are playing better in every possible way.
A great amount of talent and a huge amount of practicing.
hi Ann, I fully sympathise, these Kayser etudes are so well written and can be approached as real music. for some variation, have you seen the "Violin Etude Page"?
What Buri wrote in his first post on this thread is absolutely stunning advice. I've heard a lot of wisdom from him in the past, but that one was a true masterstroke.
Sanders wrote : "So (and here's the hard part)...How does one be fully in-the-moment?"
Jean, Thank you, there is also a nice violin wiki page with lists of etude books and links to youtube performances.
There is no division of technique and musicality. Now, there are certainly beginners who sound comparably good despite their crude technique because they still manage to play with dynamics and have an instinctive sense for the phrase. But as players advance we come to simply expect that; it's no longer impressive. The music and its interpretation becomes more complex, as well, so the player has to become more sophisticated in their ability to interpret. Interpretation has to both involve the ability to "hear" what you want something to sound like in your head (the "musicality") as well as the technique to actually replicate what's in your head on the instrument.