Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.
out the slightest gradations of tone from the fullest forte to the softest piano, to mark all kinds of strong and gentle accents, to execute staccato, legato, saltato, and arpeggio passages with the greatest ease and certainty.  The French school of violin-playing did not at first avail itself of these advantages, and even Viotti and Spohr did not fully grasp the new resources of execution.  It was left for Paganini to open a new era in the art.  His daring and subtile genius perceived and seized the wonderful resources of the modern bow at one bound.  He used freely every imaginable movement of the bow, and developed the movement of the wrist to that high perfection which enabled him to practice all kinds of bowing with celerity.  Without the Tourte bow, Paganini and the modern school of virtuosos, which has followed so splendidly from his example, would have been impossible.  To many of our readers an amplification of this topic may be of interest.  While the left hand of the violin-player fixes the tone, and thereby does that which for the pianist is already done by the mechanism of the instrument, and while the correctness of his intonation depends on the proficiency of the left hand, it is the action of the right hand, the bowing, which, analogous to the pianist’s touch, makes the sound spring into life.  It is through the medium of the bow that the player embodies his ideas and feelings.  It is therefore evident that herein rests one of the most important and difficult elements of the art of violin-playing, and that the excellence of a player, or even of a whole school of playing, depends to a great extent on its method of bowing.  It would have been even better for the art of violin-playing as practiced to-day that the perfect instruments of Stradiuarius and Guarnerius should not have been, than that the Tourte bow should have been uninvented.

The long, effective sweep of the bow was one of the characteristics of Viotti’s playing, and was alike the admiration and despair of his rivals.  His compositions for the violin are classics, and Spohr was wont to say that there could be no better test of a fine player than his execution of one of the Viotti sonatas or concertos.  Spohr regretted deeply that he could not finish his violin training under this great master, and was wont to speak of him in terms of the greatest admiration.  Viotti had but few pupils, but among them were a number of highly gifted artists.  Rode, Robrechts, Cartier, Mdlle.  Gerbini, Alday, La-barre, Pixis, Mari, Mme. Paravicini, and Vacher are well-known names to all those interested in the literature of the violin.  The influence of Viotti on violin music was a very deep one, not only in virtue of his compositions, but in the fact that he molded the style not only of many of the best violinists of his own day, but of those that came after him.

LUDWIG SPOHR.

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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