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The Art of Violin Playing

Book Two: Artistic Realization and Instruction; Second Edition

By Carl Flesch

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Chamber Violin
Book Two: Artistic Realization and Instruction; Second Edition. Composed by Carl Flesch. Edited by Eric Rosenblith. Perfect Bind - A' Hinge". Back To School. Softcover. With Standard notation. 208 pages. Carl Fischer Music #BF20. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.BF20).

Item Number: CF.BF20

9 X 12 inches.

This monumental, epoch-making work by Carl Flesch is the most comprehensive and thorough treatise dealing with practically everything that is of concern to the violinistmusician. This new translation makes the work more accessible utilizing a contemporary idiom and having received a general updating. Newly engraved and freshly typeset, Flesch's magnum opus remains the most significant and trailblazing work ever written for violinists.
This monumental, epoch-making work by Carl Flesch is, in the opinion of many, certainly still the most comprehensive and thorough treatise dealing with practically everything that is of concern to the violinistmusician. The basic thoughts contained in it have lost none of their validity. It therefore seemed imperative to further increase their relevance for English-speaking musicians. In order to accomplish that goal, this new translation aims at making this work more accessible by using a more contemporary idiom and by a general updating. While carrying out this task, it became clear that in the course of time the general frame of reference and overall cultural environment have indeed undergone significant changes since the original German publication. For example, the reader will find that almost all references mentioning violinists appear in the masculine gender, despite the fact that a vast number of his own students and colleagues were women. Use of the masculine gender in this way was obviously just a convention. In keeping with Carl Flesch's original clear intent of producing a practical, though also philosophical, book, I decided to omit certain sections because, however interesting they might be as a document of their time, they would not be central to the basic thrust of the work. (For readers who are especially fascinated by these "historic" elements, going back to the original German version is recommended.) For me, the editor, readability and accessibility to English speakers as well as violinists for whom English is a second language was of paramount importance, so even though I attempted to preserve some of Flesch's flavorful wit and descriptive language, I tried to avoid any distraction from the presentation of the core of his pedagogic, artistic and philosophical thoughts. The greatest value of this book lies after all in fostering the practical application of these principles and insights. I also tried to follow Carl Flesch's wish, expressed in one of his letters regarding an earlier English version, not to attempt a "word-by-word" translation. I therefore took the liberty frequently to put things in my own words, while scrupulously endeavoring to render precisely his meanings and thoughts. Some additional remarks in connection with Book II are of great importance. This book contains so many profound thoughts about artistry, aesthetics and humanity in general that it is easily seen to be of great significance to all musicians, not only string players. This book helps us better to understand the many facets of our art and points the way towards achieving professionalism, musicianship and artistry. Flesch's awareness of the importance of the "flow of history" and the evolution of musical taste and style is extremely insightful. It is quite obvious that we, as human beings, need to be very aware of permanent values as well as of the ever-changing cultural and artistic "scene." Flesch himself was not only imbued with the former, but also very sensitive to the latter. In the spirit of this awareness, I permitted myself to abbreviate certain passages which are particularly connected with a certain era, and also to paraphrase some of the material. These latter paragraphs are clearly indicated, printed in italics and preceded by the comment "Editor's Remarks." As far as the musical examples both in the text and in the Appendix are concerned, we must be fully aware that Flesch was always imbued with the greatest respect and even reverence for the musical "creator"--the composer--and therefore sought to find the best "texts" available to him. The determined pursuit of Urtext editions in our day (to which I most heartily subscribe) was not yet so prevalent at the time of the original publication of The Art of Violin Playing in the 1920s. Therefore, some edited versions of a few compositions found their way into this book. It is also of great interest that Flesch, who espoused the idea that there is more than one interpretation possible, so refreshingly and clearly states his own well-grounded and ardent beliefs about music-making. At this time I wish to thank Carl Flesch Jr. for his great help and encouragement, and my wife, Carol, without whose invaluable partnership this work would not have come to fruition.

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