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Everything posted by Carl-Victor

  1. I have a few other questions about this work: particularly, what year was it first performed and by whom? Was it written specifically for a particular violinist? And how was it received by the critics and public at the time?
  2. I have just about given up trying to play these at any but the slowest tempos, and am wondering whether they were easier to play on gut strings during Paganini's and earlier times. Perhaps metal doesn't allow as wide a room for error due to the nature of the narrower width for contact of the higher fingers (I know that sounds convoluted, but it's the only way I can put it into words). Also, is it my imagination but whenever I watch certain violinists play these (esp. Francescatti) they seem to have a somewhat flatter wrist and fingers.
  3. I am currently reading a biography of Ole Bull. On one of his concert programs, there is reference to Paganini's Witches Dance and its rediscovery by Bull: the concert notes depict the performance as the first time that double-stops using artificial harmonics had been performed since Paganini himself. Two questions: Was Paganini the first violinist to use dbl. stop artificial harmonics, and was Bull the first to re-employ them?
  4. Thanks to all for the advice. Sometimes it's simply not evident from the music how to play something. It would be great to hear the Heifetz version, greater still to have seen him play it.
  5. At the end of the 1st movement, about 30 measures from the final tutti section, there is a long chromatic phrase from the D two octaves above the D string down to the F on the D string. In my edition this is written as a single up-bow slur to be played completely by sliding the 3rd finger down from the high D and yet with accents on each note. How is this to be played in tune and with the proper accent. I can't seem to figure out when to move my wrist or thumb without breaking up the smoothness? Was this W's original intention? Any ideas?
  6. A question regarding Sibelius : I know that he was an accomplished violinist when he was young. At what level? Could he have played his own concerto? Did he edit the fingering? And what is the name of his set of 5 or 6 short works for violin? I had the set several years ago, but misplaced it.
  7. Just a follow-on question to these interesting posts : Did many (or any) of the great virtuosi of the past century possess academic degrees? I realize that many studied at various conservatories and with individual maestros, but did any actually bother with all the rigamarole of fullfilling credits, lecture hours, theses, etc.
  8. quote: Originally posted by Toscha: Prague (or Czech) school has more advocate than the ones mentioned above, such as Prihoda, Kocian, Vlach etc. Prihoda taught in Vienna and Salzburg and Kocian in Prague. Josef Suk studied with Kocian. I believe Suk and Vlach (among others) taught younger Czech players. National distinction of style has become more vague these days since many players study in more than one countries with teachers from various background. Toscha A further question: Did Kubelik have any students to whom he passed on the Sevcik method directly? I can't recall whether he ever had a distinct teaching post? A curious side-note ... in the current book I am reading entitled "Hitler in Vienna" there is passing mention to the fact that during the pre-World War I period Czechs were so despised in parts of Austria that a Kubelik concert had to be cancelled in Linz due to demonstrations by a pan-German nationalist group.
  9. Whatever became of the Prague School?? Did it die out with Kubelik, Press, Petschnikoff, and Barcewiy?
  10. Yes, they mainly seem to have been recorded as Vn/Gtr duets, but I am uncertain as to the original manuscript. Was the guitar part a transcription of an original piano part (?) or added later by Paganini(?) Interesting questions.
  11. I've been reading excerpts from Szigeti on the violin and he mentions quite forcefully that students shouldn't attempt the Paganini Caprices without first having studied the Op.14 Barucaba variations. This is the first I've ever heard of them. Have they been recorded and are they particularly musical? Any information wold be appreciated. Also, are they in print?
  12. more on Lombardini ... (does anyone know where to find the Allegri Quartet cd mentioned in this article; it sounds most intriguing?) http://www.temple.edu/music/composers/sirme.html Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen was born in Italy in 1745. Her date of death is uncertain. From age seven she was trained in one of the four Ospedali in Venice. These institutions, started in the 16th century, were combination orphanages and churches. Music instruction for girls was central to the Ospedali for both its educational value, and for the income from public attendance of church services in which excellent music performance was featured. Although Lombardini was not an orphan, she was one of very few children admitted to the music school of the Ospedale based on her early musical talents. While at the Ospedale, Lombardini was taught both violin and composition by Tartini, a noted composer and violinist of the day whose works are still played. Leaving the Ospedale was at least as difficult as getting in, as the only two options were becoming a nun or marrying. Lombardini chose to marry Ludivico Sirmen, himself a violinist and composer. From 1767, she concertized to great public acclaim. However, by 1773 she turned her attention to singing and never duplicated her earlier critical success. Explanations for this change of focus differ. Charles Burney a well-published musicologist of the day seems to attribute it to some perverse stubhornness that stopped her from recognizing where her true talents were. Elsie Arnold, a contemporary musicologist, has theorized that LombardiniSirmen's earlier critical success was in large part due to the unusual spectacle of a woman virtuoso violinist. At first she was a curiosity, but as the novelty wore off she attracted smaller audiences. Lombardini Sirmen's compositions, like her violin playing, were well regarded by educated musicians of the day. Most of her works feature the violin, having been written for her own use. Her string quartets are particularly noteworthy, as they were published in the same year as Haydn's Opus 9. History has called Haydn the father of the string quartet form with Opus 9 as the first examples. Unfortunately, history has not been quick to recognize the high quality and inventiveness of Lombardini Sirmen's work. While you can purchase Haydn's Opus 9 at any classical music store or musical website, the quartets of Lombardini .Sirmen have still not found their way to a contemporary publisher despite being played and recorded in a wellreviewed C.D. by the Allegri String Quartet in 1995. Hopefully, these and others of the 35 compositions for which manuscripts have been found will become more widely known and available, and the name of Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen will find a deserved place on the list of first-rate composers of western music.
  13. There are many, but first begin with ... Maud Powell (1867-1920) was a music pioneer who blazed a trail across the nation opening the hearts and minds of the American people to the truth and beauty of music. Against all odds, Powell became the first great American violin virtuoso to attain international rank. She also holds the distinction of being the first instrumentalist to record for the Victor Red Seal label in 1904. Powell's legacy and ideals thrive today and give new generations of women the courage to follow their dreams. from : http://music.acu.edu/www/iawm/wimusic/mpf.html
  14. I ran across this information on the web while researching information about Sevcik. (Morini was one of his students). What became of the stolen things? Have any been recovered? Article follows : In November 1995, The New York Times reported that Erica Morini had passed away at age 91. The loss of Morini represents the end of an age of mythic violinists. Nathan Milstein, after his final appearance with Morini in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, confided to her: "Erica, we are the last! Only with you do I want to play the double concerto." During her final two decades Morini lived reclusively. The obituary described the theft of her Davidoff Stradivarius, yet no mention was made of the plunder of all her scores, letters, photos, and much else. While a Stradivarius cannot remain anonymous for long, the fate of her invaluable music (with fingerings and bow marks), recordings, and her correspondence is even more distressing . Although some items might eventually be listed in autograph dealer catalogs, the theft and breaking up of the Morini archive leaves tragic consequences.
  15. Thanks for the responses. My main concern was whether it would seem "unprofessional" or distracting to the audience if everyone was raising or lowering their instruments at different times, but I suppose that as long as the movements are within a few seconds of each other, and no one is constantly holding the instrument up, that is sufficient. This is probably another example of the many "unwritten rules" of string playing.
  16. I have a question which may be trivial but has bothered me this season. I play in the second violin section of a local orchestra. The section leader tends to hold his instrument in his lap in the upright position (our orchestra doen't seem to use the old traditional "cradled" position) during even the shortest breaks or rest periods, whereas I (and my stand partner also) tend to hold the instrument in playing position unless the rest is for more than 5 or 6 measures, so as to be ready to play. I have noticed that some of the members follow the leader and others don't. Is this supposed to be uniform throughout the section? It is annoying to have to constantly watch for this. Any comments? [This message has been edited by Carl-Victor (edited 12-11-2001).]
  17. These are outstanding works. Any ideas about why we hear so little about this great composer?
  18. Perhaps this subject has been addressed before : I just heard the new CD of the Bach Chaconne with the hidden chorales. Was a baroque violin used for this recording? I didn't catch the name of the German (?) violinist or the choir of 4 voices. Any information on this CD would be appreciated?
  19. To Purplehaze ... I would like to echo the others' ideas about the individuality of each person's path through life. I have spent almost 30 years dwelling on the "injustice" of the fact that I was stripped of my ability to have a career as a violinist due to a tragic chain of personal events in my life at age 20, just as I was beginning as a professional musician. Only now have I returned to the instrument I adore after years in the wilderness of depression and anger. I would be happy as a clam to get back to the technique I had then, but will settle for just simply playing in my local orchestra and enjoying participating with other people again. No, I will never "be" Heifetz, but I can "be" myself. My life's path has enabled me to travel into the dark corners of the world which I never would have encountered as the arrogant orchestral musician which I would have become before my accidents, and I am a much better musician for it spiritually if not technically. Just some thoughts.
  20. To extend this topic : Which are the best recordings of the Chaconne? Naturally, Milstein and Menuhin come to mind. I heard Fodor play it some years back and was delighted. Also, are there any "period instrument" recordings with or without additional improvisations?
  21. Vieuxtemps 5th. Why? I have no idea, just love to hear it often.
  22. Thanks for the reply: it seems that he was part of that great generation of Ukrainian-(Russian)-Jewish violinists who emigrated to America. (Heifetz, Elman, Spivakovsky, etc., etc.) Are there any more of them still alive?
  23. I have been working on Raff's Cavatina, and am using the Fischer Superior Edition, copyright 1945. I notice that it was edited by a George Perlman. Anyone know who he was? Interesting, because this piece is on Itzhak Perlman's "Greatest Hits".
  24. Just curious : Does anyone know who premiered the Fantasy, and in what year. Was the piece dedicated to anyone? And was it a critical success at first?
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