Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

Johannes Brahms

Boris Garlitsky's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy French Music sheet annotated by  Boris Garlitsky  is available 43 min Violin

Boris Garlitsky and Tianren Xie cover posture, anticipation, and playing with elegance in this violin masterclass.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this masterclass, Professor Boris Garlitsky, and student Tianren Xie take on the complex violin Concerto in D major by Johannes Brahms, who wrote it in 1878. It is the composer’s only violin concerto, and it was written for a solo violin and a small orchestra. 

Garlitsky shares a few pieces of advice, particularly about posture, instructing Tianren to avoid keeping his shoulders too high up and his elbows too low. With this, the student is encouraged to push on his bow instead of pulling. 

Despite the challenging technical aspects of this piece, Garlitsky emphasizes the importance of being relaxed and avoid playing too pragmatically in order to keep the fluidity and elegance of the piece. Additionally, the pair review the significance of anticipation and paying close attention to transitions. 

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Maintaining posture. 

  2. Freeing the mind.

  3. Avoid playing too mechanically.

  4. Using transitions to anticipate.

  5. Pushing on the bow instead of pulling on it.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms 

The concerto for violin was composed by German composer Johannes Brahms in the summer of 1878. It is considered one of the major pieces in the romantic German repertoire, and was so difficult to interpret that it had to be modified by Brahms. Originally, the piece was dedicated to his friend Joseph Joachim and is meant to be played with an orchestra. At first, the concerto was heavily criticized as being both too difficult and too boring. Three of Joachim students took hold of the piece and toured with it to defend it.  

Brahms’ oeuvre is long: it takes about 40 minutes to play it.  

  • Composer: Brahms
  • Piece:Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77
  • Professor: Boris Garlitsky
  • Student:Tianren Xie
  • Instruments: Violin
  • Date:28 October 2020
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:43 min
  • Spoken language:French
Boris Garlitsky

Boris Garlitsky

Playing this concerto is like waving a silk handkerchief in the air. That is the image.

Boris Garlitsky

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this violin masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Boris Garlitsky’s feedback and comments.

Sheet music violin concerto in d major, op. 77

Boris Garlitsky

Boris Garlitsky

In 1982 he was the winner of the Premio Paganini in Italy.

Born in Russia, Boris Garlitsky received his first music lessons from his father, the author of the standard textbook for young violinists, “Step by Step”. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory, and debuted as a soloist after winning the Italian Paganini Competition in 1982. Since then, he has played, among others, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as the Milan based Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra and the British Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Garlitsky is an active participant in several international music festivals. He regularly participates in the Pablo Casals Festival in France, mostly Mozart in New York, the London Proms, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Gidon Kremer’s Chamber Music Festival at Lockenhaus in Austria. What’s more, Garlitsky performs for the BBC, Radio France, as well as a number of radio stations in Italy, Russia, and the United States. He has recorded for RCA, Naxos, Chandos and Polymnie. Furthermore, Garlitsky is devoted to chamber music and is a member of the Hermitage String Trio, praised highly in critical reviews.

Presently, Garlitsky is a dedicated educator. He holds a chair at the Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen (Germany), and offers masterclasses on a yearly basis at the most renowned music institutions, including the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin, and Kronberg Academy.

Brahms

Johannes  Brahms

Born in Hamburg, Germany on May 7, 1833, Johannes Brahms was the son of musician Johann Jakob Brahms. Johannes Brahms began his musical education learning the piano, cello, and horn. From the age of 7-years-old, he studied the piano under Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel.

Composer, pianist, and conductor, Brahms began his career at the end of the classical tradition (approx. 1730-1820) and established himself as a central figure in classical music’s Romantic era. His first concert tour took place in 1853 where he built a deep camaraderie with fellow musician, Robert Schumann.

His first major work presented to the public was Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra in D minor, which was performed by himself in Leipzig in 1859. In 1863, he moved to Vienna, where he was appointed conductor of Singakademie (Singing academy), which he would leave only a year later.

By 1868, Brahms achieved fame throughout Europe for the premiere of his renowned work German Requiem. Other notable works by Brahms include but are not limited to: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, op. 15, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24, Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, op. 25, Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, op. 38 Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68, Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77 Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 78 Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98, and Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, op. 99 Quintet with Clarinet in B minor, Op. 115. Brahms has been lauded for his deep understanding of formal construction and his rendering of melodic richness, harmonic complexity, and his mastery to achieve a myriad of moods and atmosphere.

Johannes Brahms passed away on April 3,1897, in Vienna.

Photo credit: Fritz Luckhardt

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