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David Geringas: Debussy - Cello sonata CD 144 - I. Prologue


Sonata for cello and piano CD 144

I. Prologue


David Geringas, guest professor

Mariusz Wysocki, student

Ofelia Montalván, accompanying pianist


Prof. Geringas starts his lecture with a comment about a dynamical matter: there is a difficulty with the dynamical balance because there are many piano shades (p – ppp) in this piece. So, the student must consider them related to each other and he must play with the intensity of the piano. At the beginning, the student also should play stronger than the piano… all the things the student does, should make sense.
Then, they speak about the meaning of the diminuendo and after that, the professor recommends him to read about the short story of Pierrot Lunaire on which this piece is based. They also reflect on more instructions written in the score: agogics terms like animando and rubato, sound quality and character terms, etc.
For David Geringas it is important to find words whose help him to go with the musical expression. In a certain part, the pianissimo must have sound and articulation, and then Geringas makes other corrections related to articulation and phrasing, sound role for each instrument, sound balance and dynamics, among others.
Prof. Geringas also works with the student the bow and right arm motion, and the most suitable way to distribute the weight of the hand to obtain a better quality of the sound. Geringas encourages him to dedicate a daily time to work this, using the body energy and not the arm pressure.
They review the dynamical indications written by the composer in the score, and afterwards Geringas advises him to do more contrast with the previous atmosphere at the beginning of the melody to make more differences (rhythmically too) within it.
Finally, they think about the “Lento” and “Poco vibrato” signs almost at the end of this movement and about Debussy’s intentions regarding them.