Hebräische Melodien, Op. 9, 2nd movement
World-renowned soloists Isabel Charisius and her student Lior Kamanga break down the basic fundamentals of essential techniques a violinist should follow. Likewise, Charisius explains that while exploring the dynamic limitations of this piece, it's essential to maintain the balance between yourself and the surrounding instruments. On top of that, the professor underlines that while practising continuous vibrato in octaves, doing shifts under the slur and continuously vibrating is an excellent technical exercise for this piece.
Furthermore, Charisius instructs Lior on breathing while positioning the bow through pantomiming. Taking a deep breath before the piece start and positioning the bow to the desired position can help a violinist transmit the energy to accomplish a masterful performance of Joachims' Hebräische Melodien, Op. 9, 2nd movement.
Finding a balance with other instruments.
Breathing naturally with the bow.
Practice to strengthen the muscles.
Implementing the correct body language
Joseph Joachim’s Hebräische Melodien, or Hebrew Melodies, is a three-movement piece for viola and piano from the Romantic era. Composed 1854-55, the piece is subtitled “From Impressions of Byron’s Poems.” It was written during the composer’s most prolific period, his tenure as the principal violinist at Hanover Court. During that time, he became close friends with musical giants Schumann and Brahms, who took an interest in his compositions. Hebräische Melodien has a melancholy tinge throughout. The first and second movements, Sostenuto and Grave, are similar in mood; both are in minor keys and have a lamenting quality despite flowing musical lines. The final movement, Andante cantabile, has more of an idyllic character, with a slightly more agitated middle section. This beautiful piece allows the viola to be its most expressive and lyrical.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this viola masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Isabel Charisius’s feedback and comments.
The prize winners were selected by a jury comprising (Alban Berg Quartet), 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre.
Isabel Charisius is one of the finest violists and chamber musicians of her generation. As a member of the legendary Alban Berg Quartet, and a regular soloist with leading orchestras, Charisius has appeared regularly at the most prestigious venues in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
She enjoys working in projects with distinguished string quartets, various ensembles and many renowned soloists in international venues. She is frequently invited as a jury member to prestigious international competitions.
For many years, Charisius has been dedicated to developing the journeys of new generations of musicians. She is an internationally recognized teacher of viola and chamber music. Her prolific teaching activity at the Universities of Cologne and Lucerne as well as a wide range of masterclasses at some of the most prestigious institutions, has produced a large community of alumni. Her students can be found among the winners of international competitions, and many of them are members of the world’s finest ensembles and orchestras.
Isabel Charisius plays the extraordinary viola «ABQ» by Laurentius Storioni (1780).
Joseph Joachim was a Hungarian violinist, composer and conductor of the late Romantic era. He was born in 1831 in Köpcsényin in a merchant family. Displaying an early interest and talent for music, he started taking violin lessons at the age of 5 and left his home at age 7 to pursue his studies. His first public performances were greatly appreciated, and it became clear very early that he was destined to be a great musician. In Leipzig, where Joachim was living with his aunt, he met his future mentor Felix Mendelssohn, who took him under his wing and ensured that Joachim was receiving the best musical education. Mendelssohn was the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra director and offered his young pupil the opportunity to perform often. Joachim’s talent was revealed when he played the solo part of Beethoven's Violin Concerto to a stunned audience. The young man had written his own cadenzas, and his interpretation became famous. In 1853, he met with Brahms, who became a lifelong friend, and a decade later in 1863, Joachim married an up-and-coming opera singer Amalie Weiss. Together they had six children.
In 1869, Joachim formed his own string quartet, with which he performed until his death. Convinced that his wife was unfaithful to him, he and Amalie divorced in 1884. Joachim died in his home in Berlin, where he had taken up residency, in 1904 at the age of 76.
Although Joseph Joachim is known for being one of the most talented violinists of all time, he was also a talented composer. He wrote 14 compositions with opus numbers and composed about an equal number of pieces without numbers.