Oy-Oy

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About Oy-Oy

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  1. Oy-Oy

    Coda bows

    Cellos 2 Go carries composite and graphite bows for all instruments, not just cellos. They will send a selection of different bows out for trial. It really helped me choose my Berg with confidence. So here's a plug for them: www.cellos2go.com
  2. Oy-Oy

    Quartet Tuning

    I appreciate the appreciation. So many people had misunderstood, or misconstrued, an earlier post about vibrato that I stayed away for awhile. But I am always pleased when I can share knowledge. K545, this topic is not as reductive as you seem to wish. Any tinkering with tuning will represent a compromise, involving some fixed pitches being more out of tune than others. Who is to say what is the "ideal" number of cents the 5ths are to be pinched? As I've already said, anything other than pure 5ths will bother some ears, but the viola's open C in the solo at the beginning of the "American" quartet, if tuned in pure 5ths from the same A as the rest of the group, will otherwise be audibly flat. So what are you going to do? There is no "chart" here, no universal agreements.
  3. Oy-Oy

    Quartet Tuning

    The "pure" 5ths we tune our strings to is a slightly wider interval than the natural 5ths in the overtone series. Thus, a natural E overtone from the cello's open C string is substantially lower than the violin's E string when both tune in pure 5ths from the same A. Or you could say the cello's C is flat to the fiddle's E. There are no answers to this problem, only compromises. Any deviation from pure 5ths will be perceived by attentive ears. OTOH, some keys are unbearable in a quartet with unadjusted strings, particularly F major and A minor. You just have to find a middle ground that is acceptable in the most situations.
  4. Try www.cellos2go.com. They carry fiddle bows as well. And they're near Connecticut.
  5. Oy-Oy

    vibrato

    There's not much to add to what I and Andrew Victor have already posted. This is mainly a dispute about semantics. The term "finger vibrato" suggests that neither the arm nor the wrist are moving and that the vibrating motion is happening exclusively within the three knuckles. Which is impossible. Those knuckles do flex with any vibrato, to one degree or another, but suggesting that the motion can be completely isolated in the fingers (with the elbow & wrist immobile) is silly. So just call whatever you-all are doing something else and we'll move on.
  6. Oy-Oy

    vibrato

    {"The fingertip vibrato is the first thing I suggest to my students who want to learn vibrato."} God help them
  7. Oy-Oy

    vibrato

    Galamian can "refer" all he wants, but anyone who understands anything about physiognomy understands that the finger cannot vibrate by itself. The knuckles flex when a vibrato is initiated elsewhere (arm or wrist), but this idea of "finger vibrato" is either a myth or a misnomer. Fingers can't pulsate by themselves; either the arm is initiating the vibrato motion or the wrist is. Period. It's sort of like the Emperor's New Clothes. The phrase "finger vibrato" has been bandied around for so long that people simply accept it as meaning something. As a kid, I remember coaches explaining to us that a fastball "rises" due to the underspin. I even read such an assertion in an encyclopedia entry on baseball. However, anything who knows even a little about the laws of ballistics knows that such a thing is impossible. The question is, why does this matter? Since a "finger vibrato" is impossible, anyone who imagines they're doing such a thing is really doing something else. I know pianists who believe there are seven different levels of pedaling. If these fictional conceits help someone with their playing, fine. And the idea of varying speeds & amplitudes of vibrato is, of course, what music-making is all about. I just worry that some hidebound teacher might hammer this phase home on some hapless, but literal, student who then wastes time trying to make the impossible happen.
  8. Oy-Oy

    vibrato

    {I wrote "right hand", didn't I?} Well, yes, you did, but you also wrote "finger," and there is no such thing as a physiological matter. Vibrato can't be done by the finger alone, i.e., without any motion by the wrist and/or arm.
  9. Oy-Oy

    Glissando

    Glissando is not an archaic technique, it's quite a recent one, at least as far as composers specifically notating it (Mahler being among the first). You're thinking of the natural portamenti that used to be more prevalent among string soloists than it is today. But precisely to differentiate a written "gliss" from a natural portamento, you must start it very early during the note's duration. If the note is a short one, its entire length would have to be taken up by the gliss. As far as which bow, that should be clear from the slurs in the music.
  10. Grumiaux's is certainly the classic. Outstanding digital recordings include those by Jimmy Lin and Christian Tetzlaff.
  11. Reading this board occasionally, it certainly seems that HKV is "the most overestimated violinist" in his own mind, but as far as violinists who are overestimated by the rest of us, the question is hard to answer. You could say that every professional soloist is overestimated if one is to believe what their publicists put out. But if I go to a concert, and am deeply moved, and tell someone how great it was, what does it matter what that person's public profile is? OTOH, if I attend a Perlman concert which happens to be an off-night for him, or I just don't respond to his performance, does that mean that as a general matter he is "overestimated"? I mean, I know who you're getting at. The usual suspects (Nadja, Kennedy, Sarah Chang, et al.) have had good marketing and they can sometimes become annoying. But if any of them walked into your house, took out their fiddles and played for you, I guarantee you, you'd be impressed. They are great violinists. That there's sometimes a gap between the hype and the reality is more of a sad reflection on the need to "sell" classical music and go farther and farther over the top with one's publicity campaigns then it is on the abilities of sincere, hard-working musicians. No one forces anyone to listen to anyone. If you can't stand anyone besides Milstein & Heifetz, that's your right. But don't anyone fool themselves: if those artists were performing today we'd see publicity campaigns that would make you vomit. [This message has been edited by Oy-Oy (edited 09-06-2000).]
  12. . . . otherwise known as "Marge the Barge."
  13. Sorry you're floored. I'm a professional musician, formerly in a professional string quartet, have heard the Juilliard often (pre- and post- Mann), and basically know what I'm talking about. If you disagree, well, that's life. Pick yourself back up.
  14. Couldn't live with him, can't live without him. Mann was the dominant artistic force in the group, and through all the personnel changes it reflected his sleek approach, with an emphasis on structure, for many decades. But, as others have said, his own playing grew harder and harder to endure in the last decade. But now that he's gone we can look at the group anew, and we see that without him there's really nothing special about it. The violinists are both very good, viola weak, cello OK but eccentric. They can produce a relatively homogeneous performance, but no one knows what they're ABOUT anymore; the group has no profile. Comparing it to the great quartets of the past (including the Juilliard Quartet when Izzy Cohen was a member), there's no stylistic personality anymore, no artistic statement. Emerson is, of course, at the top of the heap today, but there are also some fine European groups (Stamitz, Hagen, Arditti). The Tokyo is suffering a similar loss of focus now, with two new members of completely different backgrounds.