Ensemble!: a rehearsal guide to thirty great works of chamber music
As performer, coach, teacher, scholar, and author, Abram Loft has devoted himself to chamber music for almost half a century. In this useful and diverting book, he draws on his vast experience to guide the reader through thirty compositions, from piano trio to string sextet, from Haydn to Britten. The treatment by this master teacher is both detailed and serious, but far from solemn. Bowings, fingerings, tone color, dynamics, tempo, balance, rubato, phrasing, repeats--these are among the many facets of rehearsal and performance that Loft touches on in his discussions. He relates every element to the movement at hand, and to the musical logic of the composition as a whole. He lets us know when to heat up the melody, and when to exit laughing. He draws us into the composer's perspective and attunes us to the significant musical events as they unfold. His enjoyment and respect for the work are evident. And always there is the good-humored understanding that his own approach--highly informed though it is--is but one among a number of possible concepts. His aim is to encourage each ensemble to arrive at its own thoughtful interpretation of the composition under study. Ensemble! speaks to the professionally oriented group, the serious student ensemble, and the amateur enthusiast of chamber music. This book can supplement the advice and observation of the live instructor and also serve as a surrogate coach and tutor. Ensemble! guides the reader through the challenges and around the pitfalls of a most demanding pursuit: the playing of fine chamber music. Convincing and confident performance is the attainable goal.
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Rehearsal and Concert
Quartet in E flat Op 33 No 2
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1st violin 2nd violin 8th-note 8ths accent accompaniment Adagio Allegro Andante arpeggiated Bartok bass beat Beethoven Brahms chamber music chord clarinet coda composer composer's concert contrast couplets crescendo Debussy dotted double stops downbeat duet Dvorak dynamic level effect ensemble fermata figure final finger forte fortissimo glissando half-note harmonic Haydn heard inner voices instruments listener marked melody Menuetto molto move movement Mozart octave offbeat opening passage pedal point performance phrase pianissimo Piano Quintet pizzicato play players quarter-note Quartet in G quiet rehearsal resonance rhythm rhythmic rubato Scherzo Schubert second theme sforzando shift slow slurred Smetana solo sonority sound speed spiccato starting String Quartet stroke suggest sustained syncopes Tchaikovsky tempo texture thematic three lower voices three upper tone tremolo Trio triplets tune upbeat upper voices upstroke variation vibrato viola violin and cello violin and viola violin line vivace writing