This week is all about our Winter Concert piece, Amadeus! by Hoffman. It is a version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 25. To achieve a superior performance, our orchestra must learn how to perform with an authentically classical style.
There are many identifying characteristics of Classical Era music including homophonic texture with memorable melodies, simple yet driving rhythms, subtle, narrow vibrato, and light, clean spiccato.
There are some great resources out there to help us reach our goals!! I have included some links below of things we will look at in class and some other websites and videos for extra help. My favorite video is the masterclass with Henning Kraggerud. While he is giving a masterclass on Mozart's violin concertos and not his symphonies, his insights are still applicable. I love how he challenges the students to treat the music like voices of opera characters and portray different emotions while the phrases converse. I can't wait for us to try it too!! Happy practicing!!!
Barocco means Baroque in Italian. The Baroque Era spanned from 1600 to 1750. Some famous composers of the era were: Bach, Pachelbel, Telemann, Couperin, Handel, Purcell, Scarlatti, Lully, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi. Many composers made their living composing, performing, and giving lessons for a patron, usually a religious institution or political figure. If you would like to read more about the Baroque era, www.baroque.org is an informative website I recommend.
We need to use Baroque performance practices to perform this piece properly for UIL Competition. The following video explains how Baroque instruments, bows in particular, are different from modern instruments and how this effects our interpretation and bow technique today.
As you practice Barocca, try to incorporate these techniques. Happy Practicing!!!
Bow control is so important, and the things you learn about it from the staccato stroke carry over to many other bow strokes: detache, accents, marcato, spiccato, hooked bows, loure, etc. Staccato teaches you how to control bow speed and contact point, as well as how to grab and release the string through the bow hair using your fingers. The following video goes into detail about staccato, and is the first of a four part series. I suggest watching the entire series, it is SO good!! Visit Youtube and watch the rest!!
Now for the viola, cello, and bass sections. In Sinfonia, you have to perform spiccato, which is a short stroke that comes off the string using the bow's natural bounce. The next video has excellent practice strategies that you can implement easily at home (we will try them in class too!). Often when we are learning a new concept on our instruments, we combine it with old concepts. This allows us to really concentrate on the new parts while the older parts are on auto pilot. You can also add spiccato to your scales, arpeggios, and thirds. Remember to smile, and happy practicing!!!