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Rainer Schmidt: Brahms - String quartet op 51/2 - IV. Allegro non assai (Part 1)

BRAHMS, Johannes

String quartet in A minor op. 51 no. 2

IV. Allegro non assai

 

Rainer Schmidt, professor

Cuarteto Quiroga
Aitor Hevia, violin I
Cibrán Sierra, violin II
Lander Etxebarría, viola
Helena Poggio, cello

 

The first suggestion by prof. Schmidt is that the students should play a specific part (6 measures before Più Vivace) in one bow, without breaking. Then Schimdt comments that he found the tempo, in general, too slow. They focus on 10 measures before the end, where the professor indicates them the importance of taking into account the moments when there is harmonic tension and when that tension is released and how to translate it into the performance. Schmidt asks them to play these passages slowly and thinking about the more suitable articulations, dynamics and bows so that the produced sound become the best for each moment according to the harmony and character.
They work each passage by instruments, practising the mixture between the different voices and the sound balance.
The members of the quartet must always listen mutually and have a wide vision of the score to notice where the voices move in each time. Besides, Rainer Schmidt considers that sometimes play "beautifully" does not work.