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Everything posted by Agatha

  1. This is a very interesting discussion and very much to my liking. I, too, have some dissident views which I don't usually have an opportunity to express. Here's my two bob: Heifetz: Generally don't listen to him but what I have heard leaves me stone cold. He plays everything too fast in my opinion. I once read on the fingerboard where someone said about his playing "he plays like a machine with the passion of a dead cat" - it sums up my feelings completely. The only recording of his that I can say that I actually like is his Schubert Ave Maria. Menuhin: I like some of his early video-recordings but after the war he went completely off track as far as I'm concerned. I can't even stand to listen to most of his later recordings. Oistrakh: I love Oistrakh because he is the type of violinist that I love, having a warm beautiful sound although his recordings of Brahms and Tchiak didn't grab me at all. But his recording of the Bach Double concerto with Igor is one of my favourites. Perlman: The first violinist that I knew by name and to this day he is still my favourite. I am still amazed by the beauty of his playing everytime I listen to it. For me, the ultimate in violin playing (I'm not talking about the actual music itself) can be found on his Together album with Placido Domingo and his Klezmer album, In the Fiddler's House. Also, his Sarasate Carmen Fantasy and Paganini violin concerto have never and will never be equalled - let alone surpassed. Unfortunately though, as we all know, no one stays young forever. Zukerman: I don't like him personally so as a result his playing doesn't appeal to me much. (Personality has a rather big part in whether I like someone or not, which in a very minor way contributes to the reason that I don't like Heifetz) I saw Zukerman in a masterclass last year and from my own experience of just watching his manner with the students and with me when I asked him for a photograph I don't think he is such a nice person (with all due respect to DavidK, you know him a lot better than I do). About his playing, I know for a fact that he can play virtuoso showpieces like Paganini and Wieniawski because I have seen him do it - in the context of a masterclass - but I prefer his being able to play them and NOT playing them to someone else playing them when they shouldn't be - like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg. Nadja S-S would have to be one of the worst violinists I have ever heard. I find her extremely irritating as a person and as a violinist. She's one of those people who is constantly belittling everyone else in order to feed her own ego. Her violin playing is terrible as far as I'm concerned - she doesn't even have a clear tone. Along with Anne Sophie Mutter and Sarah Chang, she is one of the three violinists who I can't believe ever got famous. A-SM at least has good looks but what have the other two got? Anne-Sophie Mutter: Over-rated in my opinion and terrible violinist. A description I read that was given to Leila Josefowitz intended as a compliment sums up my feelings towards her very well. "She plays like a pit-bull trying to rip someone's arm off." Obviously, I don't intend it as a compliment. Sarah Chang: The thing I find most irritating about her is the way everyone seems to think she is 'technically perfect'. Apart from everything else, she is NOT technically perfect, I heard her perform the Tchaik and it was full of wrong notes and mistakes all the way through. There were times when she was pushing down with the bow so hard the sound cracked. And she DOESN'T always play with impeccable intonation as I have so often heard it said. Maxim Vengerov: Of all the "young" and "modern" violinists, excluding Gil Shaham, Maxim is the one who impresses me the most. While he isn't strictly a violinist in the style that I like best (Perlman, Oistrakh, Shaham), there is nothing about him or his playing that offends me except for his outrageous performing manner. There are a lot of other violinists that I don't like but I couldn't be bothered writing about. These include Midori, Joshua Bell and NIGEL Kennedy. My other favourite violinist is Gil Shaham. That in itself is a dissident view on this board. Anyway, having said all of the above, I'm not saying that any of the afore-mentioned violinists can't play the violin - to say such a thing would be preposterous. Also, I am not suggesting that I could do it better than any of them, or indeed half as good, my critisms and observations are simply coming from me as a listener and a watcher.
  2. You don't have to say anything positive but why bother tearing someone down all the time?
  3. quote: Originally posted by Locatelli: I like Itzhak Perlman`s recording. Maybe one of his best recordings. I agree. This is definitely the best recording I have ever heard.
  4. quote: Originally posted by HuangKaiVun: Those who'll be seeing me at the Maestronet Reunion (Agatha? lineman?) will see firsthand how bizarre my hands are (see my "Physical Freaks" post). I doubt that I'll be at your reunion - I'd have to fly half way around the world. Good luck with it anyway.
  5. The Dvorak violin concerto is a relatively recent discovery for me and it has fast become one of my favourite concertos. (It reminds me of the Brahms concerto which is my all time favourite violin concerto) The recording that I have, and love, is by Itzhak Perlman with Daniel Barenboim, and the Chicago Symphony - correct me if I'm wrong on that one, the name of the orchestra has temporarily slipped my mind. Of the other recordings I have heard (about 3) I like Isaac Stern's 1965 recording. Maxim Vengerov and Pamela Frank didn't do much for me, apart from the obvious beauty of the music.
  6. quote: Originally posted by lineman: Among those hands are Issac Sterns and some famous conductors. Issac's hands in a way surprised me, they were short and a little stubby, not bad, just not the delicate hands you would expect from such marvelous music. Actually, stubby fingers make for the best vibrato, at least the sound that I like best which is a warm, fat sound. Unfortunately for me, the tips of my fingers are quite small.
  7. My particular favourite recording of this work is the Perlman/Ma recording with the Chicago Symphony and Barenboim. I absolutely love this recording and I recommend it without reservation. At one point in the first movement when the orchestra has a really loud tutti you can hear someone shouting - I assume it's Daniel since he's conducting.
  8. Please let us know how the masterclass goes, I'm going to see Shaham play Brahms this year but I would love to see a masterclass by him. I wasn't aware that Gil did masterclasses, last I heard teaching scared him.
  9. I heard on the radio the other day a piece called something like Ashokan Farewell played by Mark O'Connor and Pinchas Zukerman, among others. I liked it very much and I was wondering if anybody knows any more about this recording. Thanks for any help.
  10. Definite details this time in case anybody is interested: Gil Shaham, NYPO, Andre Previn Diversions, by Andre Previn Korngold Violin Concerto Beethoven Symphony No 4 Avery Fisher Hall, February 8, 9 & 13 at 8.00 pm.
  11. Gil Shaham will be in New York in a few days time playing the Korngold Concerto with NYPO (I think) and Andre Previn. I'm not sure, but I think it's at the Lincoln Centre.
  12. I'm sorry for causing trouble and most of what you all said about me is true, unfortunately. OK, I am a snob, and I'm mean, but I can't help it if my ears like the sound of violin best. Sure, all instruments are important - I wouldn't say equally - but I just happen to like violin better. Is that a crime? Obviously it is here at Maestronet. Well, I think I'll give it a rest here for a while.
  13. I'm not out to start a fight but I stand by what I said 100% - and I wasn't kidding. Most of the replies after mine have proved my point. How often do you hear a violinist saying things like "violin power" or "go the violins"? And I do know what I'm talking about because I have had first hand experience with this heaps of times. Violists are always nagging on about how good their instrument are - why don't you just let your instruments do the talking?
  14. quote: Originally posted by violagoddess: You know, that was a good point about violists advertising that they are violists. I think what it is is that violinsts are ashamed of the fact that they play an inferior instruments and violists are proud they play the better one! Go violas! This is absolutely not the case. The truth is that violists know their instruments are inferior and therefore they have to keep trying to convince everyone - and themselves - that it is actually superior. I've seen it happen time and time again. Violinists, on the other hand, are secure in the knowledge that their instrument surpasses all others in every aspect and they don't have to keep advertising the fact.
  15. My favourite interpretation of the Beethoven concerto is Gil Shaham but since he hasn't yet made a recording of it, when I want to listen to it on cd I listen to Perlman. I have a tape of Gil playing this piece and it's a really bad recording - all crackly with loud hissing but I can ignore all that and just listen to the music and the performance. It is absolutely out of this world.
  16. I can always pick Anne Sophie Mutter by hearing her on the radio - again for less than flattering reasons. I can pick Shaham and Perlman by hearing them on the radio - especially Shaham. Maybe it has something to do with how well I know his recordings........... At any rate, Shaham and Perlman would still my favourite violinists regardless of whether I could pick them or not.
  17. I wouldn't say Shaham has no personality compared to Vengerov - I would say that they are two players with opposite temperaments. I, for one, find Vengerov's 'personality' over-bearing. I have seen him live three times and every time - especially the last time - I was uncomfortable watching him. The body contortions and tortuous facial expressions were almost painful. There is no doubt that he is a crowd-pleaser but there is no accounting for taste. His on-stage antics and aggressive violin playing don't appeal to me at all. Shaham, on the other hand, is my favourite violinist, and totally opposite to Vengerov. He doesn't need to resort to body contortions etc, he simply gets on with playing the music. He has a wonderful personality, both when he is playing music and when he isn't. I love his recordings and his playing and his modesty is impressive. Something of which Vengerov has NONE.
  18. Did any of you see the New Years Concert with Zubin Mehta? What was it like? I'm not sure what year it was (maybe 1998?) but I would have liked to have seen it. Mehta is a favourite of mine.
  19. Gil Shaham's recording is my favourite - he plays it so beautifully.
  20. HKV, I thought you said that you don't use any vibrato!
  21. Well, to be quite honest, I didn't think much of him. He sounded out of tune all night, he missed lots of the high notes (he played the Brahms concerto) and between every movement he tuned his violin for at least a minute. I also heard him play the Sibelius on the same tour and I wasn't too impressed with that either - apart from not liking his sound, vibrato etc, I don't like his interpretations much. Those are just a few of my impressions from the little I have heard of him but I'm quite biased when it comes to violinists.
  22. I haven't heard enough of him to have an opinion but I heard a concert of his a couple of months ago and I'm interested to see what you all think.
  23. I've seen Yehudi Menuhin play it on video - it is absolutely gorgeous!! I don't know if it's on cd though.
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