Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 99 version 1

Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 99 version 1

Johannes Brahms

Gary Hoffman's masterclasses

English 1 h Cello

In this session, Garry Hoffman and Florianne Remme examine finding balance between the cello and piano, among many other pertinent elements.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy in October, 2020 at Arc-et-Senans.

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this masterclass, Gary Hoffman works with student Florianne Remme to produce a sound that can express the emotions in the piece and can be heard equally to the piano. He discusses how the cello must often act as the foundation or bass in this piece, and thus always needs to be heard clearly. However, the student must distinguish between simply playing louder and finding a quality of sound that fits the mood of the music but still resonates. In particular, he suggests experimenting with the distance of the bow from the fingerboard.

Additionally, Hoffman offers some superior fingering choices and bowings that help the student highlight important thematic aspects of the piece, such as the figure of two. With more clarity in the technique, the student is able to play with more confidence and conviction.

A few things we learn in this masterclass

  1. Balance and coordination between cello and piano. 

  2. How far to play from the fingerboard for maximum sound production.

  3. Having conviction in technical and musical decisions.

  4. How to bring out the prevalent figure of two.

  5. Emphasizing the different characters and emotions in the piece.

  • Student:Florianne Remme
  • Instruments: Cello
  • Date:27 October 2020
  • Academy:Academy Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2020
Gary Hoffman

Gary Hoffman

“You have to play like it's the last phrase you'll ever play in your life. Cherish it. Cherish it and hold it. Hold it, but don't be afraid of dropping it.”

Gary Hoffman

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 Gary Hoffman’s feedback and comments.

Gary Hoffman

Gary Hoffman

In 1986 when he won the Paris-based Rostropovich International Competition.

Gary Hoffman is one of the most outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a poetic sensibility in his distinctive and memorable performances. Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1956, he studied the cello with Janos Starker. Hoffman gained international fame in 1986 upon his victory as the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris. A frequent soloist with the world’s most noted orchestras, he has appeared with the Chicago, London, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco,  and more. Mr. Hoffman collaborates regularly with such celebrated conductors like André Prévin, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zuckerman, Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Jésus Lopez-Cobos, and James Levine.

He performs on major recital and chamber music series throughout the world, although he spends the majority of his time between Europe and America. He is a frequent guest of string quartets including Emerson, Tokyo, Borromeo, Brentano, and Ysaye. Hoffman is a regular guest of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. Additionally, he has has premiered many concertos (Laurent Petitgirard, Joel Hoffman, Renaud Gagneux, Gil Shohat, Graciane Finzi, Dominique Lemaître, French Premiere of Elliott Carter Cello Concerto, and more). Moreover, he is the guest of main halls such as the Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Kennedy Center, and numerous festivals: Ravinia, La Jolla, Schleswig Holstein, Verbier, Festival International de Colmar, Evian, Prades Festival, Honk Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Storioni, and more.

Gary Hoffman plays and gives masterclasses all over the globe.  He is a close part of the Kronberg Academy family for years, intimately involved in the Academy Masters, the festivals, and the masterclass weeks. In September 2011 he was appointed as Professor at the Musical Chapel in Brussels.

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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