Summary – My experience in Research Diary

With the help of research diary, we take a step on our research subjects every week regularly, therefore can learn a lot of new information and write about it, when these small steps are summed up through the semester.  If I ask myself question in which way this course contributes to me, the answer is very clear: Thanks to this experience, beside I learned lots of things, one of the most important things among them is that I started to write comments on the performance practice of a work in general and also about my own performance specifically. I learned to think critically and to find negative as well as positive sides of a single performance. Another good aspect is that doing some research becomes not so difficult for me because of this regular research process and the experiences regarding it. Through the semester, every week I take some (small) steps  in my research which provide me, in the course of time, with means to understand in detail a huge pool of information about my topic. Research Diary is a necessary course for students’ development of an historical musical background. Also it is enriching, because we experience something about the research of other students, we can follow simultaneously our friends’ topics and share different experiences among ourselves. In other words, it gives us to be aware of the others’ topics and also we learn something from them. Doing analysis and comment, and searching for historical information regularly on my topic, make my mind always ready to learn something. This course is very significant in our personal development as a musician.


Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: Third Movement

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: Third Movement


Last movement begins suddenly with an orchestral tutti, it is in the key of A. After the orchestral introduction the violin enters with a quasi-improvisatory statement which is very energetic and includes arpeggios and leads to Russian dance music. When the soloist enters this improvisatory cadenza, the mood changes to a tense atmosphere before the new spiccato passage on which final movement based. In this cadenza, the pizzicato is very important because when soloists play pizzicato, generally the sound of violin is less according the power of finger. This movement has Russian folk dance music material and there are two separate themes which are different from each other in terms of character and rhythm. Generally the character of this movement is very fast through sixteenth notes and difficult to play good. There are lots of position changes with spiccati and the movement should be studied very slowly and détaché to be sure of positions as well as intonation. In the middle of movement, after the fast passage, it has a distinct folk element which is the second theme. In the second theme, bassoon and clarinet are very important because first violin play the theme and then these instruments among which there is a dialog. The violin has a melody based on Tchaikovsky’s characteristically folkish falling fourths. This theme on the G string of the violin should be performed very decisively and with quality and the full tone. After violin plays the theme, the answer comes from bassoon and clarinet very delicately, in a contrasting expression. The violin’s technical and musical capabilities are very significant for this movement and it is a very virtuosic work. The movement demands also a very deep concentration for not to lose control of the fast themes and details. It is like playing a game: However, it is not possible for every soloist to realize it in such an easiness and spontaneity, because of the highest technical difficulties.

Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto: Second movement

The second movement, andante cantabile (canzonetta) is different from the first movement, in other words, stays in contrast to the foregoing movement. The opening with woodwind and horns create lyrical mood which shows an emotional transition. When the soloist enters in g minor key, it turns the atmosphere into melancholy. Violin part has lots of intensive feelings that should directly come from the heart. The characteristic of this movement is clearly emotional with woodwind figuration. There is a dialog- like passage between the solo and the woodwind principals in the mid-movement. It is a short but regarding performance a difficult movement because of the reflection of emotion. Even there is not a technical passage; it is difficult to play for the soloist because of the needed density and awareness in controlling the bow. The usage of bow is very important in creating a good sound. The same theme comes many times and each time it should have a fresh, varied quality to affect listeners. There is one narrative passage in the middle of movement and it speaks us still in a sad mood, even if there is always hope, though Tchaikovsky preferred to come to darkness again and with the clarinet arpeggios the theme ends and we hear again the first theme which is the main and the most emotional one. The end of the movement is abrupt and, in my opinion, what the composer wants to achieve with this ending is not clear and, even I played both the solo and the accompaniment parts in different occasions, I can’t understand his true aim. When the movement ends, it doesn’t give us the real feeling of an ending, because there is an unresolved chord and suddenly we can hear third movement beginning with a characteristic theme which is very fast and energetic. Therefore, the body of second movement is not completed because of this closing. This is related to his orchestral thinking. In my opinion, this movement included beautiful romantic melodies however; just the ending of movement does not suit because of not given the sense of end. On the other hand, we may also think that the unfinished quality of the middle movement, in fact, necessitates or announces the third movement, put it differently, the continuation of the work, in which the single movements don’t stay for themselves only but are closely related to and necessitate each other.

the form of violin concerto


As with the majority of classical violin concertos, the key is D major (the opening strings of the violin are G-D-A-E, which is in D are the subdominant, tonic, dominant, and dominant of dominant the key pattern around which events are likely to move). Tchaikovsky original slow movement was in D minor, providing insufficient key contrast. The opening of the movement woodwind and horns lead the music from D major into G minor, in this key the soloist enters, over muted upper strings, with a melody that justifies the movement’s “canzonetta”. The character of canzonetta is decorated with woodwind figuration and ending now in D. The link with the finale is beautifully managed: from D the opening woodwind passage leads on to a seventh chord for strings. When the finale crashes with an orchestral tutti, it is the key of A which also heard the finale movement of concerto.
The side of the violin’s character introduced with this theme has a distinct folk element. In Tchaikovsky’s works we can hear the folk element, it is characteristic of the works. In this work, first movement very considerable virtuosity which the writing demands is always directed towards decoration of theme and of the lyrical idea, and also to show the violin’s technical capabilities. The concerto remains among the most testing in the Romantic repertory.

Ebru Yerlikaya

John Warrack Tchaikovsky Symphonies and Concertos

performance practise 2

Especially, playing part that comes after cadence of Tchaikovsky violin concerto, is really hard because the energy of soloist decreases related to density and technical difficulties of cadence. There are lots of hard passages in the cadence and for each passage shows the quality of soloist. These passage should study in very detail because of providing the good tone of violin and affecting the listeners. The last note of cadence is B flat trill and then b natural which links the main theme. We can hear the main theme by the first flute. The atmosphere is very calm and peaceful after cadence however the tension is still continuing. In my opinion, after cadence, there are six more pages and it is too long and same melody and technical passages just modulation or variation. Therefore it doesn’t need to extend the concerto but Tchaikovsky did. If we can compare the other romantic concertos, this concerto first movement is really long and also intense. To play this part that comes after cadence is more difficult because of every passage is made modulation and the octave is very high for violinist and also playing good is getting harder. Especially the last two pages are very difficult because the tempo is suddenly changes very fast and lots of sixteenth notes. I study these two pages very slowly and “detaşe” which is one of the most important technique for violin. The purpose is studying detaşe to be master of these pages because when violinists play in tempo these pages, we can see, they can’t control their bow so they can’t finish the concerto truly. I listened from YouTube one video, is belonging to Itzah Perlman .Perlman is playing very fast and virtuosic but I can’t understand any melodic line, I just heard the fast good technical passage. Sure he played very well but when I think every detail it is not good performance, it is very virtuosic and he played like a game. However it is true that how soloist play this concerto even bad or good , the reality is for the concerto has beautiful melody and everyone likes it.
Ebru Yerlikaya

performance practise

Everyone knows the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, besides someone just about is getting bored. With the beautiful romantic melody, this concerto is one of the most significant compositions which have many different performances on it. When we listen from YouTube this concerto, there are lots of performances that some of them are wrong and just play regardless. Unfortunately, these kinds of performance are getting place and we don’t know how can play this concerto correctly, we just listen and imitates some violinist. The necessary thing is before start to study this concerto or any composition; we should look the score and at least two times listen the music to understand what form of this composition is and how we can reflect the composer’s thoughts and ideas truly. Of course it is not easy process however we can try to look different perspective and find secret things that belongs the composition.
For the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, I want to explain to you my experience and how can I study this concerto technically, and musically. The beginning of this concerto starts the first violin with F sharp note and this note should be perfect intonation because it is the important note for this concerto also the third voice of main theme (D major) chord. After a little orchestral tutti, solo violin begins with the little cadenza just like a link before hearing the main theme of concerto. Too many different performance for this solo beginnings however in my opinion, it should be not in tempo and not too much rubato also, it should be the improvisation character and calculate the notes equally also because of the entering the main theme after this link. This link should be fluent and clear for the conductor also. I study this link just like every note in one bow and legato and also the important notes are c sharp and b flat because c sharp should be high , b flat should be low to create the better intonation. The last notes are and g also important to start the main theme so how we can continue these notes for attaching the main theme especially for g note significant to conductor to give the first beat of orchestra. For the main theme generally play in G string and begins the articulation of piano. However, I listened one recording from the YouTube and the soloist play the first position of this melody and I felt that it is strange but after than I think actually it is different performance why not it is. Sure the soloist has very quality violin that’s why the tone of violin is perfect even plays the first position. With this main theme, there should be a smooth atmosphere and brilliant tone. Therefore, if we use the small part of bow and give importance to the weight of arm we can have good tone even we don’t have the best quality instrument. After this theme we can hear the theme again octave higher and double notes which should be equal like playing one note. Little by little the technically hard passages come and the tension increases. Before I play the concerto, I can study just passage slowly to understand every bow and notes because playing in tempo is suddenly really hard for it. The reflecting rhythmic character is difficult for bar especially second page of soloist part. Therefore for the better intonation and technique of bow, we should study slowly and then in tempo. There are lots of sixteenth notes passage by the modulation. And then another passage comes like dialog to the orchestra. For this passage I recommend students (us) careful usage of the bow because it cannot be equal and the control of the bow is difficult in this passage. After this passage there is a lyrical romantic other theme comes and the tone of violin should change here to be effective more. Actually it is already good romantic theme but if we think differently and try to find the quality of tone, the music is much more affective and it can be different performance. For example, fist we should use small bow and then we can use bigger or first we play whole bow and whole tone and then silence and the quality of piano changing articulation. After this passage the orchestra is as a link to soloist to enter the cadenza. Cadenza begins the big, brilliant chords and then the arpeggios. Generally some of soloist play cadenza very fast and In my opinion it is not the character of the cadenza. Sure the character is more virtuosic but we can catch the character also playing truly for the cadenza. It is just two papers however very determining factor of the soloist. Both musically and technically, we should be good level if we want to play in every detail and it is also the middle of the concerto like the center of concerto and generally it needs the condition. It is a long first movement and we should keep our energy to cadenza and after cadenza also. The intonation is important for the arpeggios and then the chromatic scales with the glissando also important because it needs the very detail study to understand what place is right for the glissando and the power of finger is important here.

early works



              His early works were well made not memorable.” Anton Rubinstein was demanding and critical, and when Tchaikovsky graduated two years later he was still somewhat frightened Anton’s harshness.  In 1866 Nikolai Rubinstein invited Tchaikovsky Moscow Russia to live with him and also for the Moscow conservatory professor of composition which was just establish. The musical poems of the Fatum and Romeo Juliet his fist works to provide him o be famous. Romeo and Juliet remade with Mily Balakirev’s help in 1870 and again after ten years. “During the 1870s and later, there was considerable communication between Tchaikovsky and the Rubinstein on the one hand and the members of the “Mighty Five” Russian composers—Balakirev, Aleksandra Borodin (1834–1887), Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881), Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908), and César Cui”. At that time, he taught, composed, wrote critical essays and conducted. And at 1875, he wrote the piano concerto no.1 which is the most know universally and loved work. And then the other famous and popular work is one of the Tchaikovsky’s ballet is Swan Lake. The ballet is very successful work.