Andres Sender

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  1. Mathematical calculations of money admit of a greater or equal degree of precision to what accountants and IRS people require. So actually you were right the first time--Aristotle is still right amazingly often. In fact even his detractors have a funny habit of using Aristotle's own methodology even while they poke fun at conclusions he drew in a context of limited data.
  2. Thanks Rue, you're right. That age would enter in the legal calculation in various ways doesn't make it rise to elder abuse per se.
  3. Elder abuse is one potential angle on this. Although in effect this was assault with a potentially deadly weapon, I don't think many, if any, jurisdictions would interpret it that way as a matter of law. Nathan I guess they'll have told you whether you have a concussion and that the effects of that will take time to play out. Medical science has been turning up potential long-range consequences from concussion that were not previously well understood. I hope you have access to good medical supervision from someone with an up-to-date understanding of concussion. Don't lose heart if you find you've slowed down or that it takes a long time to recover. Getting enough sleep is a big factor in recovery.
  4. In all walks of life, stress is causing people to dig into their personal trenches: the habits and mental formulas they use to protect their tenderest mental spots. So there's a real increase in weirdness, but there is also some degree of increased tendency to notice other people's weirdness. What I find most interesting about that is that where some stressors can leave room for people to introspect and realize their patterns (maybe because the stressor is normal and narrow, i.e. a death in the family), this one seems on the surface anyway to make that less likely (perhaps because it is abnormal and vast in scope).
  5. I made one of my small bow scraping planes out of laminated rosewood. It has a copper wedge for weight and a stainless steel feeler gauge glued on the bottom for a sole. The scraping angle is controlled by the bevel on the blade, which is set bevel up at a very low angle. This arrangement is nice for the control it affords but puts a lot of force on the blade which requires the wedge to work really well. I made another bow scraping plane from a mid-size flat bottom violin maker's plane. I shortened the nose and use the blade bevel up. Blades need to be very hard to hold up long in this configuration, and sharpening them is marginally more fussy than regular blades.
  6. With regard to Stainer, Roger Hargrave and IIRC some others on this forum have distinguished between the type of arching seen on instruments such as the 1668 at the NMM (drawing available derived from CT scan images) or the one in Hargrave's own poster from The Strad, and others which more closely resemble 'Amati' arches. So yes there is a rumor of the existence of a different category of Stainer arches. Although the type of arch seen in the drawings I mentioned can be imagined to be inspired by Brothers Amati arches, Stainer's reconceptualization of the key elements resulted in something quite distinct. Or at least it does depending on what characteristics one uses to categorize arches. That also brings to mind that I think one should be wary of categorizing thickness in Stainers with thickness in DG instruments. Given the extreme thinness around the edges in Stainer and the very different arches it's not obvious that thickness works the same way in both designs. Insofar as it is the case that there are different types of Stainer arches, it does confuse the issue of Stainer's popularity from the aspect of just what sort of "Stainer" are we talking about. But what I was getting at in perhaps an overly sideways way is that I don't think a theory about Stainer's popularity lends much support to the idea that Del Gesu's instruments weren't selling, or that during times they may not have been selling, it was because people didn't want them. I'll come back on the bow pressure thing.
  7. Sounds like you've learned so much from this thread. Well done!
  8. Many of us have only seen the prototypical Stainer arch as illustrated in various publications and drawings. Rumor has it that more Cremona-like arches occur too, which would confuse the issue of Stainer's popularity and influence. The prototypical arch can be seen influencing makers in Venice and a few other areas in Italy, but as I understand it, it didn't get traction in Cremona, which even then wasn't exactly struggling to sell their instruments. Further miscellaneous data and speculation: -Bows were getting longer and heavier even in Del Gesu's time. Might the later Italian style (extant examples cambered, around 50 grams) that seems to have influenced Tourte père around 1750 have been around in Del Gesu's time? I can't hazard a guess as I am away from my references. -The Italians were famous for the vivacity of their performance esthetic, specifically large contrasts between fast and slow, loud and soft. -Although in some instances the modern conception of baroque bowing focuses on speed rather than pressure, in period sources dynamic variation is produced through changes in pressure. Not until L. Mozart is speed mentioned, then only as an adjustment for pressure.
  9. Stephen - It doesn't really matter, but I think Beecham's tin roof has tonal implications. But leave aside what he meant, tonal (to use that term in a very broad way) differences strongly affect how textural things like ornamentation and harmony work in performance. You seem to have an active mind, so I'll just leave you with an amplification on your own prediction that you would come to understand this music if you listened to it more: one of the things you would quickly see is how much the difference between what Landowska had to work with and modern accurate replicas of original instruments (not to mention updates in performance practice) has changed the impact of ornamentation on the way the music flows. To see no difference among informed harpsichord performances from the aspect of musical accessibility to a modern ear is a symptom of lack of exposure. Disclaimer: I am not advocating that anyone listen to harpsichord performances out of some ineffable Platonic duty or even for that matter to "keep up with the Joneses". Oh, and to tie this back in with vibrato and violins, one of the insights of HIP is that transparency of ensemble sound seems to have been highly valued, and when you bring together things like lack of continuous vibrato, high tension stringing, and relatively small ensembles, that transparency is wonderfully revealing, and a refreshing change from the more or less "wall of sound" effect of the modern orchestra.
  10. The gap between Landowska's equipment and the replicas being made today is pretty wide. Using Beecham's comment as some sort of point of reference about HIP is on par with talking about the experience of owning a car based on things people said about Chevys in the 1950s.
  11. Unfortunately, no. I expect there are some original bridges still flopping around in collections that came out of old shops, but this information rarely sees the light of day.
  12. About the bridge, FWIW I think even the relative caution in that paper doesn't go far enough in being skeptical of the attribution of the bridges from the Paris Conservatory. One of those bridges is ascribed to Andrea Guarnieri and is of the same general type. The labeling may have been just a practical shop tracking procedure. In any case it's unknown what level of expertise the labeler had or what audience the labels were intended to communicate to. It would need more solid proof for me to believe that a bridge design quite different from those seen with the Stradivari Medici tenor viola and workshop artifacts would have been in use by the late 17th c. and then would have changed very little over the next 100+ years, including during the time of the wholesale reworking of instruments to suit new musical requirements. Bridges are the great blank spot in understanding original violin setups. Further complicated by the fact that violins likely to be contemporary and in use don't appear much in paintings toward the end of the era. Although I did just stumble on a good portrait of Veracini from ca. 1730 in which he has a Strad style bridge. But yes, [iconography argument].
  14. Hi DoorMouse, In case you are trying to track down original Del Gesu fittings, the "Chardon" violino piccolo is the place to look. Sadly the original bridge is gone.
  15. Have you extended the blade to test the mouth opening? If that is indeed the back of the blade it's pointed well past the current position of the front of the mouth.