LSO Master Class - Oboe

Uploaded by symphony on 01.11.2010

Abbuhl: Hi, there.
Welcome to the Master Class
of the London Symphony Orchestra.
I'm Emmanuel Abbuhl.
I'm Principal Oboe of the LSO,
and I would like to welcome you.
Now, I think what I imagine, or try to imagine,
is where the music is flowing to.
We could play it very static,
just not--trying not to make a mistake.
But I think this wouldn't be
the essential meaning of playing.
So first of all, try to breathe in
in the pause of the piece, whatever you play.
If you play fast or slow piece,
just in the pause of the music.
For example, if I play it much slower...
Ensemble. You breathe in really slowly.
If you play it fast...
that makes a different character
and you breathe in much faster.
So breathe in in the pulse you imagine
is the right one.
Then have a look at the writing of the composer.
He says--
he writes only in the second half of that solo
crescendo and diminuendos.
So open a bit on the sequence
to go to the F and then the E-flat and the D.
And so on, eh?
So we have a really conclusion of the music.
Because it's written "semplice,"
and that means simple.
So simple and expressive is quite difficult to combine.
Now let's continue with the Strauss,
the "Don Juan," Richard Strauss.
It's a tone poem written for large orchestra.
And you can imagine it's really loud
and really fast.
And there's a middle section
and there's a very peaceful and quiet music,
and we have, again, the privilege to play that tune
together with the clarinet.
For example, this line returns three times.
So we have that scale going up from D to G,
dropping on a D backwards.
Three times, Strauss wrote this motif.
Now maybe don't try to play that three times
the same way.
There are different ways so you could--
make a tension, de-tension, very simple.
Yeah, so three different ways.
There's no conductor to tell you exactly
how you have to play, so you have to choose yourself.
Then, to speak a little bit about vibrato,
you might have no question,
but I think vibrato should be the most natural way,
very close to human voice.
Like you would sing a note,
you would sing, express a line.
And so imagine you blow out and move the air,
instead of thinking of rhythmic movements
in your throat or your belly.
The music should sing, and it should relax,
and it should express itself.
And especially romantic music needs as well
a part of expression more than baroque music.
So use a little vibrato to play that excerpt.
And you have time to breathe.
Then, as everybody knows,
to play low notes on an oboe softly,
it's not that easy.
So it's a bit difficult not to start with an accent.
And so we should try to start like a flute or a clarinet.
So when you play--
[sings melody excerpt]
So the low notes, try to start with a--
not with a-- [clicks tongue]
with a harsh D.
So try to start with a T-H, for example,
or "na," pronouncing a different vowel
than just a hard D.
So you can produce a very soft attack instead.
The next excerpt is by Rossini,
"La Scala Di Seta."
One famous overture with a lot of oboe solos.
Again, we have a slow opening.
And there, try to express clearly
what is written.
Like we have dolce, we have a lot of legato,
and we have hairpins.
That means dynamic.
Try to make a sort of a plan
how you want to structure the piece,
but then, of course, play it very naturally,
not intellectually.
But try to make a difference as well
between major and minor accompanying flute.
Again, small cadenza, et cetera.
So this is quite a varied music.
For example, I started a bit too slow,
so we play a bit-- a little faster because
it's written andantino and not andante
or, yeah, grave, or something like that.
Then did you hear--
the third and fourth bar is minor.
So try to express a bit of different way
of espressivo than the first two bars.
Well, so between what I will have played...
We are not a main voice.
The flute has the main voice and solos,
so we should be under it.
The next entrance is, again,
solo responding on strings.
Now let's pass to the fast part
of that overture.
Always start to practice slowly
so that your brain is always ahead of your fingers.
Now try to think where this line goes already
to avoid that you play like a machine
or you play it just to study.
So we have--
[singing melody excerpt]
for example.
We go to the second bar, but it's very gentle
and more beautiful and elegant
if you relax by doing--
playing to the second bar,
but at the same time, you relax.
And you hear we have to go up,
so there's a crescendo including.
If we stay and just play notes, it will be boring.
So this will be a slow tempo,
then you increase a bit faster...
for example.
Then try to go faster and faster
till you reach your limit.
Maybe you have no limit, so you can go very fast.
So eventually, you come at the speed
to play that piece where you would need
a different way of tonguing,
a so-called double tonguing.
So you say--
you touch the reed on the tip of the tongue,
and then pronouncing, "Ta-ka, ta-ka, ta-ka."
or you say, "Na-ga, na-ga,"
like the Japanese town Nagano.
Say, "Na-ga, na-ga, na-ga, na-ga, na-ga, na-ga, Nagano."
Then you can play much faster and lighter
than single tonguing.
And again, try first on the reed alone
so you can practice by-- on the C natural
and try to keep and to find the same pitch
and same dynamic with both notes.
It's quite hard in the beginning.
Do a voice...
so you can-- when you practice,
you can go very fast.
So you would need that for that excerpt.
So we come to the end of this short Master Class.
So thanks for watching,
and I hope it will inspire you to play
and to try as well to play all this music
and possibly send a tape for the audition.
So all the best and good-bye.