Technique: Legato and Lyricism


Ideas to help you grow your sound and articulate every note within each bow

Great players historically have understood how important the legato is. The ability to use the bow in legato forms the very basis of our technique; it influences the beginning, middle and end of every note, and the musical messages that we convey. This isn’t true only of string players: brass players move from one note to another under a slur in many different ways, and my judgement of pianists has entirely to do with legato. Famously, pianist Artur Schnabel played Mozart entirely without pedal, which he was only able to do using a fantastic finger legato. When I was a kid I was fascinated by the sound that wind instruments made in different styles under legato, how they moved from note to note, and how differently they might accomplish this in England, or Austria, or America.


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