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Marc Coppey, Boccherini, Concerto in B-flat major

Sequence published on 12/2/21
Composer : Luigi Boccherini
Year of composition : 1769
Artistic period : Classique
Musical category : Concerto
Academy : Academy Nov. 1 - Nov. 8, 2021
Master(s) : Marc Coppey
Student : Auguste Rachet
Instrument(s) played :

"Virtuoso, but one of a kind and majestic virtuosity, rather than a lively one. Lively in the sense of lively, bouncy rhythm." Marc Coppey

About the Violoncelle class of Luigi Boccherini's work on the Concerto_in_B-flat_major G.482

Master class de Violoncelle, Luigi Boccherini | Concerto_en_Sib_majeur

"Marc Coppey listens to the student perform the first movement of the Luigi Boccherini concerto in B flat, a paradigmatic work of the classical repertoire for cello. ""If you look at the pulse and the harmonic organization,"" Coppey explains, ""maybe you'll realize that there are fewer notes than that, in the sense that there are mostly chords with changing harmonies, but fewer chords than notes."" He concludes by saying ""I think that if you feel the length of the beats and the harmonic length more, it will help you have more freedom to be less in this verticality of the rhythm, which ends up stressing us.""
After saying that 18th and 19th-century composers write very few indications, the master says the ones that exist are very valuable and give to the general character of the work. He then affirms that the indication ""moderato,"" beyond the actual speed or pulse, “is also a character that is certain."""

Later on, Marc Coppey makes some instructions concerning the bow, some rhythmic figures in particular, that are very present throughout the first movement. He also makes comments on some ornaments and more complex figures. In short, this class focuses in great detail on an essential work for cellists.

What we learn in this Violoncelle Master class

-All composers, particularly in the 18th century or early 19th century and throughout that classical period, there are few indications, but they are valuable and they give the general character of the work.
-“Moderato” is not only the speed or pulse, but it´s also a character
-Sometimes, it's immediately much better when there's a lot more length in the bow.
-There are some apoggiaturas that mmust be marked elegantly
-Organization of the bow can break the monotony
-Importance of the organization of the sentences
-The higher it goes, the more that the cellist has to sing
-It's more elegant than severe
-When the harmony changes, there must be a change of color in the cello.

About the work of Luigi Boccherini

"A cellist of extraordinary technical skill, Luigi Boccherini, like Niccolo Paganini after him, wrote for his own hand and acquired a reputation as a virtuoso performer through performances of his own works. One feature of his playing that astonished his contemporaries was his predilection for playing the violin repertoire, at pitch, on the cello. Obviously, passages in which the cello plays in the high register are a recurring feature of his own scores. Concerto No. 9 in B flat major starts with an Allegro moderato that is a little capricious in form. The themes at the outset are presented in the usual manner, with the orchestral tutti, followed by the solo cello. After the briefest of modulatory development sections, the main theme is brought back for the recapitulation. Unusually, however, this is interrupted early on by some new themes presented in various keys before the earlier themes weave their way back into the orchestral texture for the conventional recapitulation. "
The almost hymnic Handelian opening of the following Andante grazioso contrasts effectively with the hectic passagework of the preceding movement. The amiable tune of the final Rondo is set against various episodic themes, most notably one with an almost clucking, hen-like, two-note figure that sends the solo cello soaring up to a remarkably high sustained note, followed by a dramatic pause. This theatrical gesture, presented twice in the course of the movement, plays an important part in articulating the clear contrasts of material in this well-crafted finale.
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