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About violak

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  1. I agree-- although students who start at a later age are at a disadvantage. I didn't start playing viola (no violin beforehand, either) till I was 13. In some cases I'm trying to compete with people my same age who have 10 years more playing time than I do. I think people who start late just have to come to grips that they are going to probably have to work twice as hard to get where they want to go. It's hard enough to be successful in the music world without being ten years behind. It was very hard for me to realize I probably won't be playing in a world famous symphony-- but then I found chamber music, something I'm very successful at, and am a very content viola player making an okay living. ~kirsten "Consort not with a female musician, lest thou be taken in by her snares" -Ben Sira [This message has been edited by violak (edited 01-04-2002).]
  2. I've also heard that European orchestras actually tune below the 440 mark. However, all three orchestras I've played with tune to 440.
  3. Whenever I'm working on a Telemann Fantasy (I'm doing numbers 10-12 right now) and come across a similar double stop I usually play all three notes against the lower note. However, if I ornament the notes and trill I sometimes shorten the lower note to allow for east of playing. ~Kirsten
  4. Isn't not being good enough the whole point in being a musician? The biggest reason I've chosed this to be my profession is that no matter how long I live or how long I play it would be impossible for me to perfect every piece of music ever written for the viola-- especially since there are new pieces being written every day. That's the joy of music-- it never gets old. While, on the other hand, I can master a "desk job" in a few weeks. What's the fun of that? ~k
  5. My vibrato came spontaneously about four or five months after I started playing. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. ~k
  6. Since I've been battling tendinitis in not only my left wrist, but my entire left arm (elbow, sholder and trapezius), I've found lots of tricks on how to manage. 1) wrapping your arm up just makes it tight and weak. The last thing you need are weak muscles that don't help support your already weak tendons. 2) Make sure you go to a rheumatologist and find out that it really is tendinitis. Alot of people I've known just assume it's tendinitis and it could be one of a million things-- from buritis to arthritis. 3) Heat packs when your aren't playing and before you play, followed by ice after you play. 4) Acupuncture, acupuncture, acupuncure 5) Massage, massage and more massage. I've gone from not being to lift my arm high enough to actually place my viola on my shoulder to practicing 4-5 hours a day. But each person is different. The best thing to do is to take it slow and analyze what your are doing in your playing that caused the problem in the first place. My problem? I stuck out my left wrist about 3 cm too far. That's all it takes.
  7. violak


    I agree with Mark_W. All of my pain in my left arm (I was out of comission for over 6 months) was due to my jaw clenching habits and strain I've put on the left side of my neck. You'd be suprised to find out that there are dozens of muscles that are directly connected to the scalene muscles in your neck. And eventhough your neck may not hurt, perse, other muscles up and down your back and arm might. Also, I wouldn't go to an orthopedic surgeon first. Go to a rheumatologist. They will test for tendinitis, carpal tunnel, AND arthritis. As well as other diseases. I found out I had Raynaud's Phenomenon, which wasn't helping my pain. Then, if convential medicines don't work-- head to your local acupuncturist and massage therapist. After being in pain for over a year they were the only ones able to put me back on my instrument. ~k
  8. I'd say you can't go wrong with anything from Nobuko Imai. I personally think she's the best viola player I've ever heard. Her musical choices are just beautiful. Her tempos always "feel" correct-- even when she takes things a little slower or faster than what's normally done. But of all her cd's I recommend "The Russian Viola" not a day goes by that I don't listen to something on that cd. ~k
  9. I've officially decided that there isn't nearly enough information on the web about Telemann. Maybe I'll try to do something about that. I've a class project coming up and one of the options it to make a website-- perhaps it will be on Telemann. ~k
  10. Thanks for clarifying my point for me, Jason. I would definately say that overall, Bach is much more difficult to play, and with regards to musicality, he puts Telemann to shame. However, in standard viola repertoire, the Bach suites are much easier to play-- at least for me. But I'm a much more musical player than technical. I think the Telemann fantasias for viola are very underated. People are always saying, "I played those in highschool". But I'm playing them right now in preperation for my junior recital and yes, there are easy parts, but there are still things that are a challenge. And they are a nice contrast to the Shostakovitch sonata I'm doing. You can always learn something from music-- even from the simplest of pieces. ~k
  11. Omo, I actually think the Telemann fantasias are actually more techinically difficult than the Bach suites, for example. However, Bach is much more difficult to sound musical. I have the same edition of the Telemann and like it quite bit. Too bad about there not being a recording. Maybe I'll get uber-good at them and make one myself! ~k
  12. Does anyone know of a recording for the 12 fantasias for viola? I've found recordings on the violin-- but they are in entirely different keys.
  13. How about Babbit, Corigliano and Kodaly? Although I think my personal favorite would be Shostakovitch.
  14. I don't know about violins- but in the viola section there is this ongoing battle whether or not to play doublestops as doublestops or divisi. Whenever I'm sitting principle I request that everyone play divisi-- you never know when somebody is not very doublestop savvy and will make your whole section sound like doggy-doo. The only time I allow double-stopping is when it's a very loud section of the piece and against an open string-- it lessons the chance of someone messing up. It's all about intonation.
  15. I'd like to find music written for viola, bass and piano-- but so far I'm having no luck! Anyone ever heard of any piece with that instrumentation? I seem to recall a Piazzola piece written for bass, viola and piano, but I could just be dreaming that up-- seeing as I can't find a cd or locate any sheet music for it. Any clues are much appreciated! ~k