Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6, 1st movement
In this masterclass, violon Professor Pavel Vernikov and student Tianren Xie work on Paganini’s Concerto No. 1, Op. 6, 1st movement, which was written between 1817 and 1818 in Naples.
This Italian piece has an upbeat tempo and the tone to be respected, as well as having a “fearless right hand.” Xie is advised to improve his understanding of where the music culminates and administer more bow so that the sound reaches the audience. Vernikov also emphasizes the importance of playing phrases without dropping the ends. Other pieces of wisdom include practicing more with a metronome, and being more relaxed overall.
Practicing with a metronome to remain in tempo.
Understanding the lyrical and operatic style of the oeuvre.
Relax while playing.
Anticipate the music.
Playing phrases to the very end.
Italian composer Niccolò Paganini wrote his violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6 between 1817 and 1818. The piece premiered in Naples in March 1819 and shows major influence of the Italian style Bel Canto, and possesses a very military type of tempo. It is considered by many as a very modern piece and the interpreter must seek out the rhythm and lyricism in Paganini’s music. It is classically structured in three movements: the allegro, the adagio, and the rondo and is scored for a solo violin and a small orchestra.
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 Pavel Vernikov’s feedback and comments.
He won the ARD International Violin Competition in Munich and the Grand Prix at the “Vittorio Gui” International Violin Competition in Florence 2016.
Pavel Vernikov, a student of David Oistrach and S. Snitkowsky, gained his reputation as a virtuoso violinist over twenty years ago. Some prominent prizes he has won include, but are not limited to: the International ARD Violin Competition in Munich and the Grand Prix at the International Violin Competition “Vittorio Gui” in Florence.
What’s more, Vernikov has appeared in many prestigious venues, such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, La Salle Gaveau in Paris, La Scala in Milan, and Santa Cecilia in Rome. For the last 30 years he has been a member of the Tchaikovsky Trio. His artistic partners include Sviatoslav Richter, James Galway, Alain Meunier, and more.
He was the Artistic Director of the Gubbio Music Festival, the Dubrovnik Chamber Music Festival and the Eilat Chamber Music Festival. He teaches and gives masterclasses around the world in Italy, France, Finland, Spain (Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia Madrid), Israel (Rubin Academy), Germany (Kronberg Academy), and more. In addition, he has been invited to be a jury member at numerous international competitions (Szigeti, Kreisler, Gui, ARD-Competition in Munich, Sendai (Japan), Budapest, Sarasate, Wieniawski, etc.). Pavel Vernikov has recorded for RCA, Ondine, and Dynamic.
As an educator, Vernikov was the professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon. Currently, he is a professor of the highly esteemed Konservatorium Wien University, and at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne, site de Sion. His alumni consist of acclaimed musicians. Among them are: Massimo Quarta (1. Prize Paganini International Violin Competition, Genua), Fumiaki Miura (1. Prize Hannover International Violin Competition), Lorenza Borrani (Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe), Fanny Clamagirand (1. Prize Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition, Vienna and 1. Prize International Monte Carlo Violin Competition), and Miki Kobayashi (2. Prize Wieniawski Competition). In 2013, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Sion Festival in Switzerland.
Niccolò Paganini was a virtuoso violinist and composer born in Genoa in 1782 to a merchant family. He began playing violin at age 7, and quickly outpaced all his professors. The gifted young musician began touring the country at 18 years old, working as a freelance violinist, and was later appointed as First Violin in the Republic of Lucca in the state of Tuscany. When the area was annexed by Napoleon in 1805, the French princess Elisa Baciocchi took over the region, and Paganini began to play for her court. He resumed his tours after the princess’s court moved to Florence. After a concert at the Scala in Milan, Paganini began to get noticed and started touring every major city in Europe after receiving a prestigious award from the Pope himself. He performed his own compositions, as well as adaptations of works from fellow composers.
Though he never married and had no legitimate children, he had many romantic conquests, among them Italian singer Antonia Bianchi. His health remained problematic throughout his whole life, as he was believed to suffer from a rare genetic condition affecting joints and tissues, as well as syphilis and tuberculosis. He died relatively young in 1840, at age 57, from internal hemorrhaging.
Niccolò Paganini is considered to be one of the most virtuoso violinists of all time, and leaves behind a musical legacy consisting of many works, such as the Violin Concerto No. 1 (1818), 24 Caprices for Solo Violin (1802-1817), Moses Fantasy (1818), Centone di Sonate, Vol. 1 (1828-29), Moto perpetuo (1835) and his Variations on God Save the King (1829).