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Everything posted by Carl-Victor

  1. I have been following the discussions about fingerings and the viola-vs-violin debates and have a question. I was trained as a violist and was required to study the half-position quite thouroughly as it is often used in viola music due to the strain on the fingers which would otherwise be required to play certain extended or repetitive passages. When I have played violin in orchestras I have found that hardly any violinists have actually studied the half position and only rarely use it, generally only if the concertmaster specifically fingers a passage in 1/2-position to make it easier. Am I wrong to conclude that violinists are simply overlooking a great resource in learning this useful postion, or am I making a mountain out of a molehill (we have many of both here in Oregon)?
  2. As one who started on viola I offer the following perspective : I rather believe that the first 2-3 years of study can be effective for learning basic techniques (up to 5th position) on either instrument. The principal difference is in perspective as a child or adolescent. I believe that a young violist is rarely (if ever) star-struck with his or her own brilliance as are far too many violin-learners. Too many of the latter want to dash into Paganini without nearly enough experience. Also, violists are more naturally attracted to chamber music and ensemble playing, and learn early the importance of the middle parts which violinists may take years (or even an entire career) to appreciate. I must admit that I dearly love both instruments and play about 50-50 on each, so am not really prejudiced. I just think that the violin produces far too many egotistical young prima-donnas while violists become more seasoned musicians earlier just by the nature of the instrument's role. In sum, a young person should play whatever they truly are interested in (even if that should include, [gasp], drums, banjos, or accordions)! C-V
  3. I have been listening to Perlman's CD of his favorite short pieces and notice that many of the works were arranged by Heifetz. The arrangement of "The Swan" by Saint-Saens has a peculiarly dissonant effect in some of the bars. Was Heifetz influenced by modernism? Did Heifetz compose original works for violin, orchestra, piano?? or only arrange the works of others for violin. For that matter, what was his formal training in composition, theory, orchestration? Did he just pick up his arranging abilities as adjuncts to his general musical abilities? Many questions. Any information would be appreciated.
  4. In no particular order, and for various historical & emotional reasons : Kubelik Menuhin Heifetz Rabin Morini (and many current players as well)
  5. This post is not precisely about the Jewish/non-Jewish question. What I am wondering is why Menuhin was specifically named "Yehudi" by his parents. I know that they were orthodox from a Hasidic Russian speaking (or was it Ukrainian) background. The funny thing is that when I was a child growing up listening to his recordings I was told by my teacher to listen to him since he was a great American violinist, and I still think of him firstly as American, or at least quasi-British, rather than Jewish.
  6. I was always most impressed with the recordings of Peter Rybar : does anyone have any biographical information on him?
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