Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45, 1st movement
In this masterclass, Professor Olivier Charlier is accompanied by young student Victoria Pizzulo. They are working on Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, more specifically the Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45, completed in 1887 while Grieg was living in Troldhaugen (Norway).
Olivier Charlier discusses at first the influences of Grieg with Norwegian folklore, while detailing the various movements in the piece. He insists on the importance of tempo, in that it is helping define the crispness of each movement and color. Avoiding monotonous sound is a priority while exercising; since there is an infinite amount of color to pick from, one should not hesitate to play with variation. One's passion needs to transpire during the interpretation as it is the combination of written rules and immediate feelings that makes music great.
Understanding the restriction of the piece to define one's interpretation,
Articulate music as if you were speaking to be heard,
Picturing the musical path to visualize incoming changes,
Pay attention to the dialog between violin and piano,
Annotations can only guide one so far, one has to picture the piece further on.
Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor is his third and final sonata written for the instrument, as well as Grieg’s self-proclaimed favorite. Audiences tend to agree, as it has become the most popular of the three violin sonatas. He composed the work in 1887 while living at Troldhaugen, his home in Bergen, Norway. Though all three violin sonatas draw from Norwegian folk melodies, this piece differs significantly from its predecessors. While the previous two sonatas were composed quickly and in close proximity to one another, the third sonata took him months to finish, nearly two decades later. It also has much darker thematic material and a greater emotional scope. In the first movement, Allegro molto ed appasionata, a dark yet heroic theme in C minor contrasts against a gentler, more peaceful theme in E-flat Major. The second movement, Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza, begins with a delicate piano melody that is taken over by the violin. Eventually, the music moves to a more upbeat, lilting middle section before culminating in a highly expressive conclusion in the original tempo. In the final movement, Allegro animato, a syncopated and rhythmic dance with somewhat ominous undertones is interspersed with an expansive, lyrical song.
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 Olivier Charlier’s feedback and comments.
Revealed by the Long-Thibaud Foundation competition
Olivier Charlier counts undoubtedly among the great violinists. He conquers the public with the natural grace of pure playing, as an exceptionally dedicated and gifted performer whose virtuosity supremely serves the music.
Of a remarkable precocity, he enters the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 10, and received illustrious support, as Nadia Boulanger, Yehudi Menuhin and Henryk Szeryng. Follows an impressive series of international rewards: Competition of Munich, Montreal, Sibelius, Jacques Thibaud, Indianapolis, Young Concert Artists (New york).
A brilliant career opens then and he is invited by the Parisian orchestras : Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre de l'Opera...) as well as numerous international orchestras: London Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, Tonnhalle of Zurich, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic of Monte Carlo, RAI of Turin, BBC Orchestras, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestra of the Foundation Gulbenkian, National Orchestra of Belgium, Phiharmonique of Liège, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestras of Montreal, Sydney, Mexico, Caracas...) and with conductors : Serge Baudo, Alain Lombard, Theodor Gushlbauer, Sakari Oramo, Yann-Pascal Tortelier, Armin Jordan, Pascal Rophé, Emmanuel Krivine, Gianandrea Noseda, Karl-Anton Rickenbacker, Lawrence Foster, James Judd, Yutaka Sado, Gustavo Dudamel, Jerzy Semkow, Charles Dutoit, Hans Graf, Klaus Weise, Michel Plasson...
His discography testifies of a great eclecticism: Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Grieg, St Saëns, Lalo... Next to the concerto "L'arbre des songes" of Dutilleux that he recorded twice, we also find works of Pierné, Lili Boulanger, Vierne, Gerard Schurmann, John McEwen, Edward Gregson, Roberto Gerhard, Cyril Scott, among whom several world premieres. His most recent recording is dedicated to Mozart concertos, with Prague Chamber Orchestra. Vivaldi will be released this year.
The Marlboro Festival was for the young Olivier a revelation, and he is since a fervent chambrist. He participates regularly to numerous festivals: Prades, "Folles journées" of Nantes, La Roque d'Anthéron, Orangerie of Sceaux, Berlioz festival, Nice, Radio-France-Montpellier...