Arts & Entertainment, Music

Playing Different Styles

Itzhak Perlman

Lesson time 09:41 min

There is a subtle art to playing a piece in various musical styles. Using selections from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bach, Mr. Perlman demonstrates romantic, classical, and baroque styles of playing.

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Topics include: Playing Different Styles


[MUSIC - TARTINI, "VIOLIN SONATA NO. 3 IN G MINOR"] [MUSIC - BEETHOVEN, "VIOLIN SONATA NO. 10, OP. 96"] [MUSIC - TCHAIKOVSKY, "VIOLIN CONCERTO, OP. 35"] - When it comes to playing different styles, playing music in different styles, I think it's very difficult, it's very difficult to explain. It's a very subtle thing. The Classical way of playing, so you're talking about composers such as Mozart and Mendelssohn and Beethoven, as opposed to more of a Romantic composers, such as Brahms and Tchaikovsky and so on, it's difficult to explain because it has to do with a sort of a style that is identifiable with, let's say, slides and wide vibrato and the rubato, you know. That means taking time a certain way. And so instead of trying to explain, let me try and give you an example of how to play something. We have the second slow movement of the Beethoven "Violin Concerto." So, , can you try from (SINGING) do, di, do, do-di, do-do, do-di, do-do, do, the middle thing. Yes? All right. So I will play you, we will start with this middle section of this incredible spot in the Beethoven. [MUSIC - BEETHOVEN, "VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR"] So that's one that's, I think, that for me, it has, if you want to analyze it, a vibrato is, shall we say, economical. You know, the phrase is more or less straight. You know, it doesn't have a lot of taking time. And so let's try to do it one more time, and let's do it in more of a Romantic way. [MUSIC - BEETHOVEN, "VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR"] I would give this person an F because it's so, it's so wrong and stylistically just, Mr. Beethoven probably turned in his grave at least three or four times on each side listening to this, you know. So now let's try it one more time, hopefully a little bit more proper. [MUSIC - BEETHOVEN, "VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR"] So that's, it's more internal. It's not as effusive, as I said, more Classical. So that's as, there's many other examples. As a matter of fact, if we can do a Tchaikovsky Concerto. Do you have it because I actually have it here? And then we can try the beginning of the Tchaikovsky Concerto. Now, the Tchaikovsky Concerto is a Romantic piece. So let me try and see if I can play that in the Baroque style and see what happens there. So just the beginning, just the very beginning when I come in. [MUSIC - TCHAIKOVSKY, "VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR"] You know, it's kind of, I put myself to sleep here. And so now let's try and do it a little bit more proper. All right. [MUSIC - TCHAIKOVSKY, "VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR"] You know, it's change of tempos, a little more dynamically energetic, and so on. I varied more bow speeds in the Romantic thing. I took more time around phrases. My vibrato was wider. You know, instead of going-- [PLAYING FLAT] --like this, I went-- I was sliding on the same string, you know, which is totally acceptable. But if I wanted to play, let's say, Bach, you know, that...

About the Instructor

The world’s reigning virtuoso violin player, Itzhak Perlman performs for presidents, royals, and classical music lovers around the world. Now the beloved Juilliard instructor and 15-time Grammy Award winner brings his passion for teaching to a wide audience for the first time. Learn fundamental techniques, practice strategies, and how to add richness and depth to your sound. Give your most dynamic performance yet.

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Itzhak Perlman

In his first-ever online class, virtuoso violin player Itzhak Perlman breaks down his techniques for improved practice and powerful performances.

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