Every technical issue has its gestural solution. Two examples.


By Ennio Nicotra 14/10/2016


Ilya Musin firmly argued that any technical issue had its gestural solution.

In front of steps which for us students constituted real brain teasers the solutions that he found left us always speechless. The symphonic repertoire, as students well know, is strewn with cryptic passages, from the second movement of Sheherazade to the Capriccio italien, from the introduction  of Beethoven II to the  Tchaikovsky VI, Egmont and so on…


I want to dwell on today only on 2 passages, for which the solutions devised by Ilya Musin always remain in my opinion the best, the most rational, the simplest…

  1. Beethoven at the beginning of  “Presto” of his VII Symphony clearly indicates a forte for the first two bars and a sudden piano in the third.

We hardly feel this abrupt dynamic sudden change well realized, either in the recordings, both in live performances. Typically the third movement of the second bar is already being executed in decreasing nullifying the effect of the sudden piano indicated by Beethoven in the score.

This is also a stumbling block for the conductors, how we can technically run it in a correct way so as to suggests to the orchestra the realization of this sudden piano?


  1. Another brain teaser, among the many that I propose to explain in the next articles, is constituted by the revenues of the brass instruments in the Capriccio italien of Tchaikovsky.

To conduct in two is heavy almost impossible, in six, however, there is no time to breathe in order to give a comfortable attack to the brass instruments.

Musin to solve this passage used the pattern  of  six so- called “alla siciliana” that is one thinned pattern of the second and the fifth pulse that find many applications from Bach to Brahms to Stravinsky, and that in this case, as you can see in the next video, allows to show a convenient entry to the wind instruments.


Finally, the same passage with the orchestra:


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By Ennio Nicotra

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