On 6th June 2014, the Institute of Music was privileged to have a masterclass conducted by Austrian born violinist David Frühwirth. Three students were selected to participate in the masterclass. They are Ng Wei Yong, Keng Xin Tian and Liew Chea Yuen. They performed Bach’s “Prelude” from Sonata in G minor, BWV1001, Sarasate’s “Romanza Andaluza” from Spanish Dances, Op. 22 and Vivaldi’s Violin Concert in G minor, RV315 (3rd movement) respectively.
Mr. Frühwirth said that violinist nowadays only focus on how to produce a good sound on their instrument but never really take notice whether are there any other factors that is affecting violinist, like the posture when playing the violin. He said that violin students nowadays don’t use much arm movement while bowing, which gives a restricted sound produced by the violinist. He told Wei Yong to use more arm movement when bowing. The sound that was produce was more free and louder too. Mr. Frühwirth added that the standing position and how your arm bow is part and parcel in creating beautiful music.
For Xin Tian’s piece, Mr. Frühwirth said to imagine the music, and in this case, it is a Spanish Dance. This is so that you could portray the piece for the audience to hear it. Xin Tian said the music is very romantic. Mr. Frühwirth said that could be translated into beautiful, and to make it sound beautiful, more vibrato is needed, so that it could be more extraordinary feeling too. And also, make differences in character and articulation so that it can make the music even more interesting and beautiful. The pianist could also play a role in helping this. Like when playing repeated notes, articulation is important so that each of the repeated notes is sounded different and more interesting.
For Chea Yuen, Mr. Frühwirth told her to play with more character, so that the audience would feel scared listen to it. This particular piece is very expressive and full of character, so the pianist is also important to help bring out the expressiveness of this piece with the melodic sequential dialogue between the violin and the piano. Mr. Frühwirth suggested using more of the wrist movement to help play the notes with ease.
I always look forward to masterclasses for other instruments so that I could learn other things that is away from piano masterclasses. I am very intrigued that Mr. Frühwirth said posture is very important of every musician, I could not disagree on that as each musician with their major instrument will bound to see that this tip is important!
This article was written by Mabel Soong, 1st year student of the B. Music Classical program.