Cello Concerto, Op. 104

Cello Concerto, Op. 104

Cello Concerto, Op. 104

Antonín Dvořák

Marc Coppey's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy English Music sheet annotated by  Marc  Coppey  is available 50 min Cello

In this masterclass, Marc Coppey and Elliot Leridon tackle the challenging Concerto by composer Antonin Dvořák.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this session, Marc Coppey and Elliot Leridon explore many features of Antonin Dvorak’s Concerto. Firstly, Coppey encourages his student to learn the history and context of the piece. For example, when Dvorak was composing this cello concerto, he discovered that a woman he loved very much but couldn’t marry passed away. Knowing this, how can a musician channel this information into the character and emotional span of the oeuvre?

Additionally, the pair look at legato, tension and release of phrases in order to broaden the sound, and more.

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Learning the background and context of a piece.

  2. Feeling the tension and the release of the phrases.

  3. Feeling the bars instead of the tempo.

  4. Legato - connecting the notes.

  5. Trusting oneself.

Cello Concerto, Op. 104 by Antonín Dvořák

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor is ironically known as one of the greatest concertos written for the instrument, given that the composer did not believe the cello was a strong solo instrument. The piece was composed during Dvořák’s time in New York, though premiered in London in 1896, and is his last work for solo instrument and orchestra. The first movement, Allegro, begins with a quiet introduction of the first theme in the clarinets, which is then passed around, culminating in a majestic presentation by the full orchestra. The second theme is beautiful and expansive, first sung by the horn. The solo cello does not take over until several minutes into the piece. It begins with an improvisatory proclamation and cycles through the thematic material in different keys. The part is technically demanding, using double stops and octave jumps.

The second movement, a lyrical Adagio, ma non troppo, quotes one of Dvořák’s own songs, “Lasst mich allein,” a favorite of his previous love interest turned sister-in-law who had recently passed. The movement begins slowly, but grows in intensity, and trades melodic lines between the soloist and wind instruments. The last movement, Finale: Allegro moderato — Andante — Allegro vivo, is a lively, rhythmic rondo. The cello engages in a nostalgic slow section toward the end that recalls material from the earlier movements before a brief, explosive conclusion.

  • Date:27 October 2021
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:50 min
  • Spoken language:English

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 Marc Coppey's feedback and comments.

Sheet music cello concerto, op. 104

Marc Coppey

Marc  Coppey

In 1988 won the two highest prizes of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition: the first prize and the special prize for best Bach performance.

Marc Coppey is a critically acclaimed musician and is considered to be one of today’s leading cellists worldwide. Originally from Strasbourg, France, Coppey began his musical training at the Strasbourg Conservatory before attending the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and the University of Indiana Bloomington. In 1988 at only 18-years-old, Coppey won first prize and special prize for best Bach performance at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. Since then, Marc Coppey has regularly performed as a soloist with leading orchestras in collaboration with numerous distinguished conductors. Such conductors include but are not limited to: Eliahu Inbal, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, Emmanuel Krivine, Alan Gilbert, and many more. He appears regularly in some of the most prestigious concert halls across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. In addition to his solo concert career, Marc Coppey is a professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and leads masterclasses all over the world. What’s more, Marc Coppey lends his expertise in the arts and is the Artistic Director of the Musicales de Colmar chamber music festival as well as the Musical Director of the Zagrebacki solisti (Zagreb Soloists). In 2014, he was named the Officer des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.

Dvořák

Antonín  Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák is perhaps the most internationally known Czech composer. Born near Prague, Czech Republic in 1841, Dvořák was raised by his father, who was a professional musician and his mother, who had Bohemian ancestry. This Bohemian heritage would influence many of his compositions later in life.  As a teenager, he was sent to live with an uncle to learn German and wrote his first piece, a polka, in 1855. His musical education continued with organ, piano, violin, as well as music theory and composition lessons. His deeply religious family agreed to let him become a musician, but on the condition that we would become a professional organist. In 1857, he returned to Prague and was soon integrated into a professional orchestra. Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra’s director Jan Nepomuk Maýr hired Dvořák as a viola player. Working in such an environment provided young Dvořák with the advantageous opportunity to watch many concerts without having to pay for tickets. In 1862, he composed his first string quartet. He also played in Wagner-directed concerts, which would set off a lifelong admiration for the famous composer. 

While working for the Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra, Antonín Dvořák fell in love with his colleague Josefína Čermáková, who never returned his affection. Dvořák later married Josefina’s sister Anna and had nine children with her. In 1871, he left the Provisional Theater to focus on composing. He proposed his first opera, The King and the Charcoal Burner, to his former employer at the Provisional Theater, but his work was rejected for being too difficult to stage. A philharmonic version was performed in 1872. In 1875, he wrote his second string quartet and in 1877, he won the Austrian State Prize with his Moravian Duets. The years of the 1880s were marked by strong anti-Czech sentiments in Vienna, and Dvořák was not spared. His Stabat Mater was particularly targeted by what the composer felt was “destructive criticism”. He left with his family and traveled to Russia and Britain, where his work was well appreciated. He then accepted a job as composition professor at the Prague Conservatory for a while, before moving to the US for three years, from 1892 to 1895, under contract at the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Unfortunately, the music school underwent great financial difficulties, and in 1895, Dvořák and his family left the US permanently, returning to Europe. He went back to teaching in Prague and focused on chamber music and opera composition. In 1904, his health took a downturn, and he fell ill, dying a few months later in May of that same year. His most well-known pieces range from chamber music and Slavonic Dances to the majestic New World Symphony, as well as solo concertos for violin, cello, and piano. 

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