Masterclass: Jack Liebeck on Bruch Violin Concerto no.1

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Thoughts on sound, colour, phrasing and interpretation of the first movement from British violinist Jack Liebeck

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Bruch’s is the most perfect violin concerto. There isn’t a note that is not needed. It is a beautifully written and balanced piece of music that is easy to understand as a listener, and that is one of the reasons it is so popular. It’s coherent, concise, straight to the point, and I always really enjoy playing it. It is far more approachable than something like the Brahms Concerto, yet it’s just as difficult to play well as any other piece. You need to have a very strong vision; there has to be a feeling that you’re drawing a line through the whole movement, so that when it comes to the end there’s a sense of resolution.The only slight frustration is that the orchestra has the best bit of the first movement, from bar 108! Try to go with them and feel involved with what they are playing. Don’t stand there and fidget.

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