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Everything posted by DR. S

  1. Here's my 2 cents. Edting, as in splicing bits of more than one take together, is not nearly so common in classical music as Maestro indicates. However, I know that it happens some. In a master class, Ricci once told us a story of his recording the 24 capricces using the then new direct to disc technology (mid 70s). They didn't give him his 4 hours to warm up so, although he almost got through them then, he had a "goof" as he put it. They had to start over from #1. This technology did not allow retakes at all. I did read once that one of Menuhin's recordings of one of the Paganini Concerti was a spliced composite of something like 30 takes. I heard the recording and I believe it may have been. But his name sold records so they kept pumping him for product, even when he was having significant problems. However, modern technology can easily correct for anything like slight differences in tempo or even pitch to produce a clean splice, so who knows what is happening now, especially in solo or small group recordings.
  2. You have to start with people that get along or at least respect each other to begin with. Its much more than finding 4 good players, but finding the right chemistry. Each group has their own mix. Some practically live together, others almost never associate outside of 'the job'. You will have to sit down and hash it out. Rules for decision making and working together. Nothing anyone else has done will work for your situation. Best of luck.
  3. I guess I wasn't really looking for justification to wear the T-shirt, but was more interested in the phenomena that surrounds or produces the 'Mystique'of Juilliard that seems to seperate it out from other schools - even places like Harvard or MIT. Actually I believe having gone to Curtis is more of an accomplishment - they wouldn't take me (okay in my defense I was already too old when I auditioned). And I'm very impressed with people out of Eastman as well, and they seem to have received a fuller more well rounded education to boot. I am happy that I went to Juilliard, and I am not ashamed of it in any way. I especially love the question about how come I'm an engineer (one of my favotite lines is to tell people that I am probably the only Juilliard trained engineer they'll ever meet) - I've just noticed a different reaction to this place as an alma mater than any other school I've come across. And at times, especialy among some musicians I feel a sense of coldness in reaction to it. If someone asks I tell them, but I rarely offer it up. I have found that it does capture the attention of people on my engineering resume' though.
  4. DR. S

    Wasp Stings

    Scientifically speaking you need to apply a base (speaking in Ph terms) material to neutralize the acid in the sting. Ammonia works really well and fast. The sooner the better. It is good practice to carry any of the various available sting reliever products with you when working in a garden or out for a romp in the woods.
  5. Jascha, I didn't like Mahler when I was young either. Keep going back and trying those that you don't like now every few years. Mahler left a lot of great work to be enjoyed, as did Strauss, and Prokofiev. And Haydn, and Vivaldi. At least no one said the Handel Messiah - it gets better everytime I play it (several times a year). I find Carmina Burana amusing, but I would never select it to play on my stereo at home.
  6. Oh yeah, by the way, you can now get Juilliard Shirts on the internet from the Juilliard gift shop. They didn't have any available when I was a student, my only piece of memorabilia from those days is one of the posters they had up on broadway advertising and evening of chamber music at Alice Tulley that I took part in. I've got it hanging in my living room - Vanity!
  7. HKV - I was a Lincer student. I was only there for 2 years around '80 and never graduated, but it was a terrific life experience for a southern boy. Your favorite violinist - Nadia, had her lesson right before me in the Delay studio next door. I studied chamber music with Joel Krosnik - he was great. Others who were there when I was - Wynton Marsalis, Robert Duffy, 'Jimmy' Linn, Paul Neubauer. Is that name dropping? I really only knew Wynton a little bit, the others were just we were there at the same time. When were you in the pre-college?
  8. How about this approach - pull passages from the orchestral or solo literature and practice them as etudes - kill two birds with one stone. Don't know why somebody hasn't compiled a set of orchestrally derived etudes. Yes I know there are excerpt books, but that is not the same approach as I am talking about. How about it HKV?
  9. How come people can freely talk about where they went to school and wear shirts and hats and stuff with their Alma Mater insignias on them and that is okay, that is unless you went to Juilliard. I have a Juilliard T-shirt I almost never wear because I'm tired of all the comments about it being a vanity shirt. I also often avoid telling people I went there because I often get a response like they think I'm bragging, I'm speaking mostly of musicians in these response modes, other people just think it's neat. I worked hard to get there and not many do from where I came from, why must I feel like I'm not being PC by being proud that I went there, and yes even enjoyed it? Anybody else get similar 'vibes'
  10. Atonal - I agree that unmanned missions would be much more cost effective. Man in the loop is very burdensome in design. However, men can still do things - especially when unexpected things happen - that machines cannot. The primary reason for men on these missions was for PR. In fact the whole reason for the moon mission was PR. We actually should have spent the resources working the problem in a stepwise logical order - Meanwhile we still face the most fundamental problem in space exploration. We still do not have cheap and easy access to space. Until we truly have a airplane type of vehicle that can take off from a runway, achieve orbit, come back, be serviced and turned around in hours, space will be expensive and distant. Hey, I'm a rocket scientist too.
  11. Comfort comes and goes, mostly with the amount of practice I can put in. My new violin which I acquired last year really increased my comfort level on this instrument. In fact switching primarily to violin has helped a lot too. My greatest moment of comfort as a violist (which is 99% of my training) occurred many, many years ago at a Congress of Strings rehearsal. I was principle violist for a concert that included the Vaughn Williams Variations on a Theme by Thomis Tallis where the viola starts off all the solo work with a hauntingly beautiful chantlike theme. It was the 2nd to last rehearsal and I had just played the solo and the violin had come in. The guest conductor (Howard Mitchell of the NSO) stopped the orchestra and turned to me. I thought, oh no, what did I do now? But he smiled at me and said something like this(I'm paraphrasing) - "Young man, this work is among my favorite pieces of music, I have taken it around the world, with many of the greatest orchestras, and nobody plays this solo better than you." Then he went on about a bright future and all. I was stunned and speechless by the time he finished, but it was the highlight of my musical career. (I have a recording of the concert and I did play it well - I'm 'comfortable' with it) I'd say I was pretty comfortable about myself for about the next month. Then I started at the 'pestigous' east coast Music school and quickly reevaluated my comfort level. Now as a 'rocket scientist' (i.e. engineer) I define comfort as still being able to pretty much hold my own when I gig with the pros, and do a respectable job with the orchestral solos I get as concertmaster of the local community orchestra. To this day however, I can't stand playing 'Thomas Tallis' and not playing principle viola - it does get butchered, the last 2 times I played it as a section violist, you couldn't even hear the viola. Sorry guys, I'm a violist a heart, but ... Ask again in 2 months when I'm playing a viola concerto with my orchestra.
  12. The hardest one is the one I'm working on!
  13. It's very subjective, but not totally. If it helps the violin fit better into your anatomy, and allows you to keep tenstion out of the shoulder and neck, then use one. Also, it is simply a fact of physics, that a rest (or cloth coverd shoulder) that is in contact with the back of the instrument will dampen the sound, but I would not let this drive your decision. Comfort and playability, and don't let the neo-traditionalists shame you into going shoulder-restless just because the old school did. From time to time, improvements do happen, even in the world of violin playing. My teaching experience has found that I can achieve a more relaxed posture in most students with a well fitted shoulder rest (even on viola).
  14. - G'day! Has anyone here heard the Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto? - My vote is here. I don't think many of you have heard him, but he really blew me away, and with what appeared to be only moderately well developed technique for a concert violinist (I've only herad him live once, so it could have just been an off night). I heard him play Tchaikowsky in a totally new, fresh, and sublimely beautiful way that his missed notes were immaterial, and I'm usually a fan of pyrotechnics and phenominal technique. If you haven't heard him, look for him in concert and go see for yourself. It was the first violin concert I'd heard in years that had me cheering.
  15. Hey Atonal - Your analysis of the benefits of the Moon Missiona dn subsequently a mission to Mars are a bit in disagreemnet with my assesment. There are many, many spin off technologies that one could argue have been responsible in part for the magnificent economy we have experienced here in the US for the last decade +. Computer technology would be decades behind, espciallythe processes of miniturization that made the PC possible. Material Sciences and development and utilization of the computer to design and build things quicker, cheaper, and better all got their start in the Space Race and the arms race, dirctly or indirectly. I am also very skeptical about the price tag you quote, where did youget that number, I had always heard more along the lines of 3 percent. Yet the technologies developed grew the GNP over th last 30 years by 100s of percent. Investmetn must be judged by the results. What about the advancement of the human species and the innate desire, or even need to reach beyond and go further? Is this not as much of a need for man as the attainment of art and beauty. Yes man has much to learn about the things he makes and there is inbalance between science and social/cultural development, but man will learn. Jolliet - The Oreo cookie is imperfect because if my son eats one, some of the artifical ingredients in it bring on symptoms of ADHD, but Whole Foods Market makes a version of it that is richer and has no side effectsbecause the cookie contains no man made ingredients... Now this is perfect. Perfect? How about A Bach Cello Suite, or The Mendelssohn or Beethoven Violin Concertos.
  16. Semi-Professional Musicians who aren't good enough or have the time to play in the professional symphony, but 'are too good' to play in the local civic orchestra, (which is a catch 22 situation, because if they did play the orchestra would get better... you see where this is going) so they'd rather sit around and let their skills atrophy and play the occassional gig that comes their way. What happened to their love of music? Is it only about money, these people have jobs outside music, they don't rely on the music income, so I just can't understand it. The years and years of musical study to not play later in life. This makes me angry. I am fortunate, I've never ever had any one tell me I my playing sucks. Allcriticism that I have recieved was honest and truthful. Asian Culture - My best teacher ever was an Asian violinist from Hong Kong. He totaly retaught me how to play my instrument in 3 months when I was 18 (I had gotten by on shear talent and zero technique up to that time). Although he was a wonderful teacher an very good friend, I sensed deep unhappiness in his life, I think that his family wanted and expected him to be a doctor (hey HKV!) as he was from a prominent medical family in Hong Kong. He was successful as a violinist, but perhaps not successful enough. Last I heard is that he quit the violin, but unfortunately I have lost touch, whatever, I hope he has found happiness.