A top cellist told us the secret of great vibrato

27 November 2017, 16:44

We asked Steven Isserlis what the secret of good vibrato is and, to be truthful, we were expecting a technical answer.

Vibrato is basically a vibrating of the sound, which is used to add expression to the music. Most musicians produce vibrato by using their fingers, lips or diaphragm.

However, as you can see from this video, creating a truly great vibrato is actually all about the emotion you put into it.

Why do musicians use so much vibrato?

“The trouble is, people use much too much vibrato these days, it’s like pouring much too much sauce on your food,” says Steven.

“The most important thing with vibrato is to mean it, not to pour it on automatically.”

*sheds cello-shaped tear*

(vibrato image via Lunanova)

Now, watch Steven Isserlis play Bach on a ‘trench cello’...