Nicola Benedetti's The Four Seasons masterclass

The brilliant violinist led an orchestra of young string players through 'Spring' from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons – and we filmed the whole thing.

Benedetti Four Seasons masterclass

Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: a masterclass

Nicola Benedetti is one of today's finest violinists. And we were lucky enough to catch a masterclass she recently gave all about 'Spring' from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

Ben Gernon conducted young string musicians from the area around Saffron Hall – where the masterclass took place.

First things first some tips for playing Baroque music:

Nicola Benedetti's tips for playing Baroque music

Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official ) leads a masterclass at Saffron Hall about Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. First things first, tips for playing Baroque music…

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

The importance of contrast in Baroque music

Creating dynamic contrast is vital in Baroque music because, as Nicola explains in this clip, musicians have a smaller palette of colours to work with:

Nicola Benedetti's tips on creating contrast in Vivaldi's The ...

Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official ) gives some tips on creating contrast in Baroque music – in Vivaldi's The Four Seasons

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

How to create the perfect birdsong effect

One of the most famous sections of 'Spring' is a passage in which the violins imitate birdsong. Here, Nicola shares her tips for recreating the organised chaos of the dawn chorus:

Nicola Benedetti's The Four Seasons masterclass: birdsong

How do you make a violin sound like a bird? Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official ) has some tips…

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

And the storm…

In contrast, the storm is a sudden dramatic interruption to the cheerful concerto – here are Ben and Nicola's tips for creating a terrifying storm:

Nicola Benedetti's tips for creating a storm in Vivaldi's The ...

Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official ) talks young musicians through how to play Vivaldi's storm in 'Spring' from The Four Seasons

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

 

How do you create the image of a gentle stream in the listeners' mind?

Nicola has a few suggestions – including working on the left hand:

Nicola Benedetti works on creating a smooth sound in Vivaldi

Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official ) looks in depth at 'Spring' from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with young musicians from Saffron Hall.

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

The goatherd's dog

Did you know The Four Seasons includes a part for a goatherd's dog? Well, a goatherd's dog as interpreted by a viola. Here are Nicola and Ben's tips for, well, sounding like a dog:

Nicola Benedetti focusses on the barking dog in Vivaldi's The ...

There's a barking dog in Vivaldi's The Four Seasons – here's a quick guide to playing the section, courtesy of Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official )

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

 

How to create a drone effect in the lower strings

No country dance would be complete without a drone. Obviously. So Vivaldi includes one in his evocation of the joys of the countryside in Spring. But how to recreate the sound of a hurdy-gurdy or bagpipes when all you've got is a load of cellos and double basses?

Nicola Benedetti on creating a 'drone' sound in the lower strings

The third movement of 'Spring' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons has an amazing part for the lower strings – here are Nicola Benedetti Violin (Official )'s thoughts on the section.

Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 16 December 2015



Nicola Benedetti was one of the performers in The Full Works Concert on Monday, earlier this week. You can listen again to the whole thing here.

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti Violinist Nicola Benedetti

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