Violin Concerto, Op. 35, 1st movement
Violin Concerto, Op. 35, 1st movement
Piotr Illich Tchaïkovski
In this masterclass, Tedi Papavrami instructs his student Gandhi Saad on how to maintain good posture and fingering in order to produce the most potent sound.
Produced by the Saline Royal Academy in April, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.
In this masterclass, Tedi Papavrami begins by reminding his student, Gandhi Saad the importance of training one’s memory. He instructs his student to play the full piece in his head before performing, in order to achieve a certain tranquility with the song and in his mind.
Next, Papavrami emphasizes the value of maintaining good overall posture. He remarks that the student is physically in a constant state of tension. Similarly, upon observing Saad’s feet, the master advises him to keep his heels on the floor. With this, he tells his pupil to think about gravity, since it is a constant that keeps everything grounded and balanced. Lengthening of the body should occur not from the tip-toes of the feet, but from the lengthening of the head. 'Tip-toeing', the teacher stresses, makes a negative impact on the sound.
Continuing with form, the young violinist is told to find a balance whenever a song becomes physically challenging, and to be mindful about fingering. Ultimately, the instructor advises the student to relax, stay grounded, and work on modulations that gracefully move from calm to intensity.
Aside from posture, other elements that are pointed out by the master include playing with expressive color, watching for legato, intonation (pitch accuracy), among many more details.
Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s only concerto composed for violin. The piece is in three movements : Allegro moderato in D major, Canzonetta: Andante (G minor), and the Finale: Allegro vivacissimo (D major). The first movement begins in a sonatina arrangement that includes an introduction, exposition, development, recapitulation, and finally a coda. An orchestra provides a quick introduction in D major until finally the soloist enters with a cadenza like response. Next, the solo starts the exposition with the cantabile main theme.This is followed by a masterful sequence of rapid scales and triads, and then a second theme is introduced in A major. Starting now from a point of calm, the music modulates as the mood intensifies and develops an elevated climax.
Simultaneously, the main theme is echoed by the accompanying orchestra.
Moving on to the development section, this segment starts with a series of chromatic shifts, ending in C major. The solo violin plays a light variation of the main theme, which is followed by a strong orchestral tutti of the main theme in F major. The music builds up to a cadenza characteristically Tchaikovskian — using some of the violin’s highest notes — which ends with a trill. The orchestra reemerges and recapitulation commences harking back to the original theme once again in D major.
Moving forward to the finale, a reprise of the second theme in D major takes place, which is then followed by “a race” between the soloist and the orchestra to the very end in a fast-paced coda.
You really have to modulate from the calmness to the intensity.
In 1985 he won the "Rodolfo Lipitzer" competition in Gorizia.
Therefore, when translator Jusuf Vrioni passed away in 2000, it came as no surprise when Tedi Papavrami took up the task of translating into French the works of Albanian author Ismail Kadare, whom he had known as a child. That incursion into literature also provided him for the first time with “a means of leading a professional existence apart from the violin.” In 2013 he continued in that vein by publishing an account of his own youth, Fugue pour violon seul, in French.
Unanimously hailed by the press, the book recounts his trajectory as a child prodigy in Albania and his passage to the West and freedom. Moreover, in 2003, when actress Jeanne Moreau met Tedi in a television programme, she did not hesitate to recruit him to play the role of Danceny, the violinist, alongside Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett and Nastassja Kinski in Josée Dayan’s TV mini-series adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’s Dangerous Liaisons. Such a wide range of activities and interests would probably not have been possible without an exceptional musical precocity coupled with long hours of practice from a very early age.
The violin was always part of Tedi’s life. He was introduced to it at the age of five by his father, a brilliant teacher with many years of pedagogical experience. Tedi progressed very rapidly, and within three years he was performing Sarasate’s Airs Bohémiens with the Tirana Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of eleven he tackled Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 with the fearsome cadenza by Emile Sauret. The year was 1982. Albania had isolated itself from the rest of the world for decades. French flautist Alain Marion, who had come to give a concert in Tirana, heard the child prodigy play – and promptly arranged for him to come to Paris with a bursary from the French government. Tedi went on to study with Pierre Amoyal at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique; he also appeared on popular television programmes and gave many concerts at that time. Having reached the end of his studies by the end of fifteen, Tedi went on perfecting his instrumental and musical skills on his own. In the meantime, he and his parents had fled Communist-led Albania and settled for good in France; back home, however, the regime punished those family members who had stayed behind with severe sanctions and reprisals that would remain in force until the government finally fell in 1991. Before that event, however, Tedi and his parents had to leave Paris in order to avoid Albanian embassy officials who were on their tail. Friends helped them relocate near Bordeaux.
Tedi Papavrami won several important international prizes in the 1990s and embarked on a brilliant solo and chamber music career. He has collaborated as concerto soloist with conductors of the likes of Kurt Sanderling, Armin Jordan, Emmanuel Krivine, Manfred Honeck, François-Xavier Roth, Thierry Fischer, Gilbert Varga and M. Aeschenbacher. He was also a member of the Schumann Quartet (with piano) for nine years. He has performed in recitals and on disc with chamber music partners such as Philippe Bianconi, Nelson Goerner, Martha Argerich, Maria Joao Pires, Viktoria Mullova, Gary Hofmann, Marc Coppey, Paul Meyer and Lawrence Power.
Tedi has been completing his artistic activity with a number of recordings ever since 1990. Released in 2014, his CD featuring the 6 solo violin sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe and the same composer’s sonata for two violins alongside his colleague Svetlin Roussev was simultaneously awarded two of the most outstanding French distinctions: the Diapason d’Or and the Choc de l’Année (Classica magazine).
Tedi has also proven his hand as a transcriber: his solo violin arrangements of 12 Scarlatti sonatas and of the Bach Fantasy and Fugue BWV 542 (originally for organ) are available from the Ries Erler music publishing house in Berlin. He has frequently performed the complete J. S. Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin in public – a repertoire of which he is particularly fond and has recorded, along with the solo violin sonata of Béla Bartók, the 6 Ysaÿe solo violin sonatas and the 24 Paganini Caprices. For many years, Tedi has been presenting the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist François-Frédéric Guy: their recording was released in 2017. Along with cellist Xavier Phillips, they have been pursuing their work on the complete Beethoven piano trios, which they will record soon. On renowned pianist Martha Argerich’s new 2019 release entitled Rendez vous (Avanti Classics), he appears alongside her and cellist Misha Maisky in the Beethoven triple concerto.
Tedi Papavrami now lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is violin professor at the Haute École de Musique. He plays a violin made for him by violinmaker Christian Bayon.