New York, NY — Carl Fischer Music proudly unveils a new edition of the quintessential Wohlfahrt violin method, expertly updated and edited by violinist Rachel Barton Pine. The New Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies for the Violin, Book 1 (O2465X - $16.95) contains modernized fingerings, bowings and dynamics by Pine, all newly engraved for this edition. At the same time it remains faithful to the original, maintaining the same pedagogical sequence as Aiqouni’s classic edition. This edition also includes a DVD of Rachel Barton Pine playing all 60 etudes, with two camera views so students can choose to see either the bow or the left hand technique.
“These little pieces are like old friends and I have fond memories of both studying and teaching them. In many ways my early etude lessons provided the underpinnings of my approach to music and musical interpretation; the skills I learned then have translated directly to my study and preparation of concert repertoire. Whether I’m preparing solo Bach, sonatas, concertos, or chamber music, I follow the same steps I learned when practicing Wohlfahrt – evaluating the work’s architectural structure, listening to all of its harmonies, and building a meaningful interpretation informed by these findings. It was a delight to edit this new addition” says Pine.
Franz Wohlfahrt lived from 1833 to 1884 in Leipzig, Germany. He was the son of a noted piano teacher and became a leading violin teacher of the period. First published during the 19th Century, the Wohlfahrt Etudes have helped develop the technical foundation of musicians for more than a century. The Wohlfahrt Studies introduce a wide variety of rhythmic, bowing, and fingering patterns and focus on various bow techniques such as staccato and spiccato.
Wohlfahrt wrote in his introduction to Op. 45, “The study of the violin presents certain difficulties… which are frequently the cause of a sudden abatement in the pupil’s zeal and ambition, even before he has mastered the first rudiments... It is important, therefore, to smooth these first asperities by showing their utility and making them agreeable… If practiced carefully and intelligently, [these studies] will serve as a solid foundation for the technique of any player ambitious to become an artist.”
Wohlfahrt gave dynamic indications for only a few of his etudes: No. 2, 7, 28, the beginning of 33, and the hairpin crescendos in 20 and 40. To Pine, playing a Wohlfahrt etude in a straightforward manner would be ignoring the piece’s innate harmonic and structural development, and so she decided to include her own musical dynamics in this edition and its companion CD. These dynamics are meant as suggestions, in hopes of illuminating the meaning behind unresolved chords, leading tones, key changes (especially between major and minor), returns to the home key, and the like. The idea is that students will use these suggestions as a launching point from which to examine why the dynamics are changing, the way the music is put together and how that relates to their technique.
Wohlfahrt includes bowing variations for a number of his etudes with notes in groups of six notes and in groups of eight notes. Pine collated all of his bowing variation suggestions from all of his etudes into a compilation at the front of the book. While no one student is expected to play all the bowing variations for every etude, the compilation allows teachers to pick and choose multiple bowing options, depending on the needs of a particular student.
Pine decided to record a companion DVD so that students could view nuanced performance elements like bow distribution and technical set-up. Each etude was recorded in one complete take. The DVD also includes MP3 audio-only recordings of the same performances.
This is Pine’s second collaboration with Carl Fischer. In September, 2009, Carl Fischer published The Rachel Barton Pine Collection of original compositions, arrangements, cadenzas and editions penned or arranged by Pine, which earned her the distinction of being the only living artist and first woman to join great musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection series. Future plans include a new edition with companion recordings of Wohlfahrt Volume 2.
In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. She plays as a soloist with leading orchestras worldwide and also as part of the period instrumental group Trio Settecento. Her performances exude passion and conviction, and her honesty in communicating the core emotions of great works moves listeners worldwide. Pine’s scholarly fascination with history enables her to bring informed interpretations to her extensive repertoire, while her innate ability to understand and perform music of many diverse genres captivates music lovers of all backgrounds. Audiences are thrilled and uplifted by her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-making. She writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs including concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Paganini. Pine’s prolific discography of 18 recordings on the Cedille, Warner Classics and Dorian labels reflects her love of the classical warhorses, as well as her interest in promoting contemporary composers and exploring music that has been unjustifiably neglected. Her favorite Wohlfahrt etude is Opus 45, No. 4, No. 6 in the Foundation Studies. More information about Rachel Barton Pine may be found at rachelbartonpine.com.
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