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Everything posted by K545

  1. Ms. Slatkin was, I believe, Leonard Slatkins mama.
  2. Millie: I don't know about Mark O'Connor, but lots of violinists touch the little finger to the bow only for balance when approaching the frog on an upbow, setting the bow onto the string or doing a spiccato/staccato stroke; the little finger is off the bow the rest of the time. Lifting the little finger as you leave the frog on a downbow allows you to pronate more readily, and thus play into the string more easily.
  3. quote: Originally posted by Andrew Victor: K545, Nope! There is more to it than that. I've also tried several other Guarneri-style chin rests in this very same time-frame to check that out, one boxwood and one rosewood, and they do not give the same improvement in sound at all - and of course - they have that old discomfort I never could easily play with. Now I'm really intrigued! Would you care to speculate on the reasons? By the way, I am currently playing my fiddle without a chinrest, using only a chamois cloth draped over the edge of the lower bout to protect the varnish; I find this gives a deeper sonority to the bass end of the three lower strings.
  4. I have read all her books. The parts that I understand seem to me far from revolutionary, and the balance I find unintelligible. She has been around for many years. Has she produced any truly notable students?
  5. If you are talking just about intonation (as opposed to accurate shifting), I suggest two things: play with a piano accompaniment and play violin music on the viola. The latter, in particular, will force you to attend to intonation very carefully.
  6. quote: Originally posted by Andrew Victor: in the past month or so, I have acquired 5 of the new GelRest chinrests ( http://www.gelrest.com ) and I now (as of last night) have got them mounted on all 5 of my violins - even the ones that "live" in different towns than I do. In every case the sound, especially of the lower notes has improved so very much, that I just had to share the good news about this fine product. (These are all good instruments that had perfectly fine sounds before - it's just that they are ALL better now.) Another feature is that I find these "Guarneri-style" chinrest comfortable enough for me to use, after a lifetime of being unable to comfortably use any other over-the-tailpiece chinrest. I've now played on them through many hours inclding a couple of performances. Andy I suspect that the improvement in sound that you remark on comes from switching from a side-mount to a center-mounted rest.
  7. quote: Originally posted by Andrew Victor: For modern music, I'll bet that more of use (than are willing to admit) go to a piano (or play out some parts an octave down) to get a sense of the intervals. Actually, I don't have any trouble admitting this at all. For the last couple of years most of my study has been of 20th century pieces, and I am forced to the piano all the time to get pitch sequences internalized.
  8. Mr. Sonne has stated my sentiments exactly. The repertoire you are working on will test and build your technique in all sorts of ways. And they are the ways that really matter.
  9. Using a Jargar A and Dominants for the other strings is a very, very standard mix on the viola. Indeed, some dealers, like the outfit in South Bend, Indiana, even sell made-up combination packs of Jarger/Dominants.
  10. Vieuxtemps's remarks are interesting. According to my own teacher, a Russian pupil of Oistrakh, Kogan was notorious for over-practicing. My own teacher, by the way, gets his students away from technical studies just as quickly as possible, since he thinks that technical matters are best taught in the context of carefully selected repertoire. [This message has been edited by K545 (edited 12-17-2001).]
  11. I can't imagine how you maintain any kind of musical concentration when you practice with a regime like that. Does your teacher speak with a heavy German accent?
  12. quote: Originally posted by Ja Rule: NUMBER FOUR NUMBER FOUR NUMBER FOUR!!!!!! scariest thing u will ever hear Yes, and there is a quite fine recording by Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Orchestra, made in their new hall. It must be a wonderful hall, because the orchestral sound is really scrumptious.
  13. I second Andrew Victor's solution. I use chamois cloth that I simply drape over the chinrest and mounting barrels. If you are fussy, you can secure it with rubber bands, or even glue. Works like a charm, and also helps keep the instrument in place under your chin.
  14. I think that only the first two notes matter. The initial d/d unison sets up the c/d dissonance, which is really the important thing. The final d/d unison is really not that important, and probably won't even be perceived if played (unless, of course, you are out of tune). That is probably why Gingold did not extend the lower d through all three quavers.
  15. quote: Originally posted by Andrew Victor: Even a change of chinrest can make a big difference, especially if it is a side-mounted chinrest. In that case, reducing the chinrest mass makes a big difference -and going to an over-the-tailpiece mounted chinrest seems to remove its influence on the tone. Andy My own experience is different. I frequently remove my over-the-tailpiece chinrest from my viola to palliate left shoulder problems when I am playing the viola extensively. The tone of the instrument is noticeably improved when I do that: it is rounder and more even, with more bass to the sound. On a whim, I did the same thing with my fiddle the other day. That is, I removed the Guarneri over-the-tailpiece rest. The result? A rounder more even sound, with more bass. I am certain that the difference I hear is not the result of sound conduction through my jawbone, since the difference is apparent even when I lift my head away from the instrument. It seems that chinrest clamps really do dampen the sound, even when they are center-mounted.
  16. Rainyann: I have read this thread with some interest, and decided to chime in with my thoughts. I assume that you know the "standard" test for determining maximum length: you ought to be able to cradle the scroll in your left hand when the instrument is tucked under your chin. I'm not exactly sure what this "test" proves, but you might have your son try it, for what it is worth. There are a lot of factors that determine a viola's playability in addition to the length of the instrument: How heavy is the thing? How carefully is the fingerboard beveled? How high are the ribs? And how long is the neck? This last point is an interesting one. I have seen violas with necks that seemed shorter than I would expected from the length of the body. I believe that makers who do this are copying the earliest of the Brescian instruments. Violas range all over the lot in terms of the dimensions and physical characteristics mentioned above. If your son wants to move up to a larger instrument, make sure that he tries it thoroughly over at least a couple of weeks to see whether he is comfortable with it. You can't make a prediction on that question, in the abstract, based simply on body length. Contrary to Ann, and some other posters on this thread, I personally believe that bigger is better, everything else being equal, and that the best small instrument will not equal the best large instrument. But some large instruments are much easier to play than others. That is why careful trial is important. By way of full disclosure, I play a 16 3/4 instrument, with very high ribs that weighs a ton. It is something of a struggle even for me, at 6'3", with long arms. The only saving grace of the instrument is that it sounds like the voice of God. I compensate for the physical problems it creates by playing without a chinrest, which allows me to play for several hours at a stretch without discomfort. [Of course, I look like Quasimodo after those sessions! -- just joking]. Happy hunting. [This message has been edited by K545 (edited 12-06-2001).]
  17. I agree with f-hole's original post. The problem with using "they" or "their" as a substitute for "/he/his" or "she/her" is that it is frequently misleading. In fact, like an earlier poster, I misunderstood eeor's meaning. While it is true that English is not (yet) gender-neutral, that problem, I submit, should not be addressed by grasping at ambiguous solutions, such as substituting "they" for "he" or "she"; still less should it be dealt with by calling a chairman or chairwoman a "chair" or a waiter or waitress a "waitperson." Over our dead body!
  18. And it falls into the category of Very Great Mistakes.
  19. quote: Originally posted by cremona: I once read a book about Ravel, and it said that he was a most precise and very specific composer- he wrote down the music exactly how he thought it should be played. Yeah, right, except that the unaccompanied beginning of Tzigane is actually a long cadenza, and is usually played very freely --like most cadenzas. This piece, by the way is fun to work on. It is rewarding to play, shows off the violin very well, and HKV is right -- it's not really all that difficult.
  20. Take a look at the link kindly provided by Heimer. Remarkable! Not only do they not have any women, but they also don't have any Czechs, Poles, etc., since they "...don't need such people."!!!!! You have to be Austrian. In other words, racial purity is what is required. Does this ring any bells? The Vienna Philharmonic certainly does fit very nicely into Austrian society, which thought the rest of the world should butt out about kindly old Herr Waldheim's SS past, and which more recently nearly elected an avowed Aryan supremacist as Chancellor. Dirndls, Sachertorte, Strauss waltzes on New Year's Day and rein blut. What a place.
  21. quote: Originally posted by bleeviola: I can't agree with that. Some of the differences between some old styles/tastes and typical newer ones include shifting and bowing techniques. The "whole compendium of violin technique" is not unchanged in the last 100 years. What used to be an "expressive" shift came to be called a "sloppy" or "shmaltzy" shift, for example.
  22. This thread has taken a couple of truly baffling turns. What on earth do boot camp, brush cuts and hunting terrorists in the Khyber Pass have to do with whether women are suited to play in big-league symphonic ensembles?
  23. quote: Originally posted by Cedar: I believe that I have the right to say I want to form an all guy orchestra which is different than saying I want to form an orchestra and just not hiring any women. In fact, you don't have such a right, at least not in this country, at least not if your all guy orchestra is going to be supported by public funds. And even if you don't have direct public support, you will have a hard time finding a performance venue, notwithstanding the specious distinction you have attempted to make.
  24. quote: Originally posted by Cedar: But they do share stands, bathrooms and hotel rooms. Are you saying that you don't see any difference between battlefield conditions and hotel accomodations?
  25. Galamian talks about it in his book. To paraphrase: at or near the frog, the bow is dropped on the string, pinches the string and lifts off slightly, then the bow is dropped on the string.... etc. Mr. G. says that it is a very useful stroke. I certainly think so. I use it all the time, particularly when playing viola, and particularly for viola "motor" figures. It gives you an emphatic but controlled sound, and you can do it quite fast because the bow stays close to the string. Try it. You'll like it.
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