Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K.219
Professor Gérard Poulet and student Emilie Turkanik take on the concerto No. 5 in A major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Poulet first instructs his student to be very careful about the tempo and to look for rhythmic stability. Turkanik is then told to work on her syncopation and to pay attention to the long notes, as she tends to end them in diminuendo. With this, the student is encouraged to avoid cutting off her phrases and release some of the pressure on the notes. This concerto is particularly light and optimistic, it must be played in such a manner.
Lastly, Poulet insists that his student examine the fine details of the piece in order to achieve an accomplished interpretation
Maintaining a consistent tempo.
Finding rhythmic stability from the start of the piece.
Avoid cutting off the phrases.
Capturing the optimistic nature of the piece.
Paying attention to the finer details.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 in A Major premiered during the winter season of 1775 in Salzburg, Austria — a time in the composer’s life of when most of his string concertos were composed. The concerto was written for 2 oboes, strings, and 2 horns and consist of the following movements: first movement (Allegro apart - Adagio - Allegro aperto); second movement (Adagio in E Major); and the third movement (Rondeau - Tempo di minuetto).
The first movement begins with the orchestra playing the main theme, which is met with a solo violin that enters with a short but sweet dolce adagio passage in A Major. The orchestra follows with a simple accompaniment. Next, the piece returns back to the main theme, with the solo violin expressing a different melody over the orchestra.
Particularly notable, the aperto markings in this first movement are rarely present in Mozart’s instrumental music and are more commonly found in the composer’s operatic works. These markings suggest that the piece should be played with gaiety and radiance.
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 Gérard Poulet’s feedback and comments.
At the age of 18, he won the 1st Grand Prix of the Paganini Competition in Genoa.
Gérard Poulet began as a child prodigy. His father, violinist and conductor Gaston Poulet had the privilege of premiering Debussy’s Sonata in 1917, with the author at the piano. Gérard entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris at the age of eleven, and graduated two years after being awarded First Prize, unanimously. At age eighteen, he won the First Prize at the Paganini Competition in Genoa.
He performs worldwide today with the finest orchestras, and in the most prestigious musical seasons, including that of Radio France and the Musée d’Orsay. No less than an eminent concert player, he is one of the greatest pedagogues of our time. Since April 2005, Gérard Poulet has been an invited professor at Tokyo's National University of Fine Arts and Music, after teaching for many years at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, as well as at the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. Presently, he is professor at the Showa University of Music in Japan since 2010.
In addition to giving masterclasses all over the world, he is also a member of many juries of major international competitions.
He was awarded with the Officier des Arts et Lettres in 1995 and Commandeur in 2019, as well as the Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 1999.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a great child prodigy of Western music and one of the most important musicians of Classicism. He wrote more than six hundred compositions and single-handedly developed and popularized the piano concerto. He was widely recognized during his lifetime, and is still regarded as the most universal composer in the history of classical music.
Born in 1756 to Anna Maria and Leopold Mozart in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musical talents were recognized at an early age. By age four, the young prodigy began playing the harpsichord, and by five-years old he was composing pieces. The Mozart family would make several trips throughout Europe to exhibit the young boy and his sister’s sensational virtuosity with the harpsichord and violin.
In later years, Mozart would enjoy a flourishing career in Vienna. He frequently performed as a pianist and was regarded as the most outstanding keyboard player in the city. In addition to his career as a performer, Mozart established himself as a fine composer. In 1782, he wrote the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which was very successful. Other renowned operas written by the rising composer included Le Nozze de Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Cósi fan Tutte (1790).
The death of his father in 1787 may have marked the decline of Mozart’s career. He composed very few works, suffered many financial problems, and in 1791 during a visit in Prague for the premier of his opera La clemenza di Tito, Mozart became very ill. In his final days, Mozart was preoccupied with completing his final oeuvre : Requiem in D Minor, K. 626. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete this piece (it was later finished by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr) as he passed away on December 5th, 1791 possibly of rheumatic fever, however the official cause is unknown.
Despite Mozart’s tragic early demise, the brilliant instrumentalist and composer left an unparalleled legacy. He was a gifted composer all around and wrote in every major genre including but not limited to symphonies, operas, solo concertos, sonatas, masses and more. His influence is wide and profound, and his music continues to be recognized and celebrated for its ingenuity.