Cello Symphony-Concerto in E Minor, Op. 125, 2nd movement

Cello Symphony-Concerto in E Minor, Op. 125, 2nd movement

Sergeï Prokofiev

Frans Helmerson's masterclasses

English 41 min Cello

In this cello masterclass, Franz Helmerson and Joël Geniet examine the bowing and explore how to find one's musical voice.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy in February, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this masterclass, Professor Franz Helmerson and student Joël Geniet venture through the Symphony-Concerto, the Second Movement by Sergei Prokofiev. Helmerson explains to Joël how finding a specific room to frame the piece's theme can easily affect its musical characteristic. A smaller frame can make the piece more lyrical and poetic, but on the other hand, a bigger frame can expand the rhythmical range of the piece. Keeping the flow, tempo, and pulse each time the theme comes back will push the rhythmical flow forward, which is the focus of what makes up a sinfonia concertante.

Furthermore, Helmerson discusses how the bow is an important element of the cello, and how the hair of the bow can sometimes be more important than the wood. Likewise, the flexibility of the wood and hair can give strength to the play in both articulation and sound density.

What we learn in this cello masterclass

  1. Bowing technique.
  2. Expanding emotional range.
  3. Framing of the theme.
  4. Finding one’s musical voice.
  5. Keeping  tempo.
  • Student:Joel Geniet
  • Instruments: Cello
  • Date:16 February 2021
  • Academy:Academy Feb. 14 - Feb. 21, 2021
Frans Helmerson

Frans Helmerson

A real soloist’s presence grows and changes into something that possesses its own reality

Frans Helmerson

Sheet music

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

Frans Helmerson

Frans Helmerson

In 1971 he won one of the most famous music prizes for cellists, the Cassado Competition in Florence.

Born in 1945 in Sweden, he began playing the cello at the age of eight. After studying in Gothenburg, Rome and London with Guido Vecchi, Giuseppe Selmi and William Pleeth, he received particular support and advice from Mstislav Rostropovich.


His solo career began in Stockholm, then he joined the greatest orchestras across the five continents, playing with the leading conductors of our time - Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davies, Neeme Järvi, Evgeni Svetlanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Rafal Frübeck de Burgos and Kurt Sanderling.


His passion for chamber music has led him to numerous festivals, including the International Umeea-Korsholrn Festival in northern Sweden and Finland. He has performed in Verbier, Prades, Naantali, Kuhmo and Ravinia and now works regularly as a conductor with Scandinavian orchestras.
He also teaches at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, where he is based, and at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. He taught at the Villecroze Music Academy in 2012, 2014 and 2020.

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