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Masterclasses

Frans Helmerson: Lalo - Cello concerto - I. Prelude

LALO, Edouard

Concerto for cello and orchestra in D minor (cello and piano reduction)

I. Prelude. Lento - Allegro maestoso

 

Frans Helmerson, guest professor

Mon-Puo Lee Hsu, student

Miguel Ángel Ortega Chavaldas, accompanying pianist

 

For this masterclass, they firstly make a review of the comments given by Helmerson for this same work in a previous lecture: the student needs to make more changes and character contrasts considering how the development for the emotional language of the piece is. Technically, the student has no problems to play this Concerto, but he needs to carry out this emotional aspect like a soloist and express more so that the listener grabs these feelings.
Regarding the performance more in detail, Helmerson corrects - among others -  some phrasing issues, vibrato (wider), or finger and left-hand (more relaxed).  According to the professor, it is important to use the different bow speeds to get a better expressiveness.
After a correction on the rhythm for a certain passage, the professor makes some comments on bow distribution: it is not suitable to always use the whole bow because,  that way, the rhythm "suffers". The student must find the most appropriate place for the bow and be more practical using it. They also review the right hand position to hold the bow in a more suitable way: more relaxed and less active when he goes into the string.
Frans Helmerson insists that the student must improve his expressiveness so that the performance does not sound so flat, and in order to achieve that, the student must change the bow speed and distribution according to the vibrato, music he is playing...  so that he obtains the great soloistic character required for this Concerto.