Until the last half of the twentieth century
, vibrato as a form of expression
in music was largely taken for granted. All forms of legato
playing on any string instrument
in the orchestra
is subject to the enriching qualities of vibrato.
A proper vibrato is acheived by the shaking back and forth
of the wrist and elbow without picking up the finger that is depressing
the string in a proper position. This is done by a performer to increase the warmth
and tone color
of a given passage; as such, when a composer
marks the score senza espress
it is generally taken to mean 'without vibrato.' It lessens the chance for a performer to add expression or any interpretation. Igor Stravinsky
was proud and fond of using this.
Vibrato is such a widely used practice
that actually seeing the word in the score
is indicative of a place where the string player should gross
ly over-exaggerate the vibrato used, either to increase drama and tension
or to parody. The generally accepted practice of using vibrato in most or all expressive, sustained, or non-stacatto
passages leads to the combined vibrati of an entire string section, and this is what gives the section its tonal color, its character
, and its ability to inspire emotion
in the modern listener.