On Air Now
Cowan's Classics with Rob Cowan 7pm - 9pm
25 October 2017, 12:33
What would happen if you used vibrato on absolutely everything?
These guys call themselves the ‘Vibration Soloists’ – and their (slightly unsettling) vibrato-loaded version of Schoenberg’s string sextet has been doing the rounds on YouTube recently.
The musicians play Arnold Schoenberg’s string sextet ‘Verklarte Nacht’ (Transfigured Night) with as much vibrato on each note as humanly possible. The idea was to imitate the playing of the violinist Anna Karkowska, who famously plays string music with very wide, slow vibrato.
We think Karkowska’s playing is beautiful, but when the oscillating sound comes from a whole room of string players, it’s a bit disturbing…
Now for comparison, here’s conductor Roger Norrington’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, without any vibrato:
To find out more about why musicians always use vibrato, click here.