D.C. Dounis described several key points about performing the Bach cello suites or solo violin partitas. To understand his ideas let's us look at the following observations...Continue Reading
Dounis referred to the impulse which starts the vibrato as the “sizzle.” He gave the example of touching a hot surface, like a frying pan. He also said “the sizzle” was the spark plug that ignited the vibrato. This is a single impulse similar to a guitarist who plucks his string in to emulate a legato. He must give the impulse enough force or pluck it hard enough to carry the sound to the next note. The vibrato is the same. The initial “shake” has to be enough to carry it through the note.
Therefore, if a player learns how to isolate this initial shake, then he or she can begin to understand how the vibrato and the left hand technique works altogether...Continue Reading
For years, the vibrato has long been thought of primarily as a means of adding expression to melodic passages. An “add on.” Teachers have emphasized this point which has resulted in a primary misconception.
Vibrato is more than a way to add expression to particular notes.
Vibrato is the basis of left hand technique...Continue Reading
The following interview was published in the book "With The Artists" in 1955. To my knowledge it is the only documented interview with Dounis ever made and probably occurred in the early 1950s in New York City.Continue Reading
These days the assumption warming up prevents injury seems to be a commonly accepted truth.
So why would Dounis, a master teacher, a medical doctor, a man with a reputation for successfully fixing physical problems recommend playing first thing in the morning without warming up?Continue Reading
What are "Displaced Impulses?"
These are impulses that end up in the wrong part of body when a player is struggling with a passage technically and work contrary to the natural movements of the body. A classic example is someone bobbing their head when playing a difficult passage. Of course it can be any part of the body, but always prevents the natural motion needed to play a passage.
The Cure...Continue Reading
It is debatable whether knowing about Bach's use of numbers and musical affections teaches us better how to play Bach cello suites, but it can't hurt. Bach is known to have used Numerology and the Doctrine of Affectations as a way to personalize his music and express his devotion to God.Continue Reading
Many violin virtuosos perform the 5th Paganini Caprice, but rarely do you see them play the original ricochet bowings. Alexander Markov not only plays this Caprice but dazzles one with his effortless mastery of these seemingly impossible bowings.Continue Reading