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Everything posted by robert

  1. I have been wondering why is it so difficult to make a violin that has great tone and sound of expensive Italian vioins such as Strad. Is it just the mistery or the secrete of Strad that no other contemporary violin cannot reproduce? I guess that since we have better understanding of accustics from physics and because developement of science we might be able to build a violin with better sound. Over centuries, many things have improved due to science and technology, but when it comes to violin making we are behind the old master builders not to mention that we didn't make any progress. Is there something particular about violin? For other instruments such as piano, I think the modern instrument is a lot better than ancient one.
  2. : hey me to : : : : I play the Alto Saxaphone and I want to learn how to play some of the Star Wars' Theme songs. If anyone can send me music that i can play on my sax, i would love : : : : it. Thank you. : : : : ~Tommy Olson
  3. :I have a friend who has a stradiuarius 1727 , made in czechoslovakia . Trying to find out a value of this instrument . Please help .
  4. There is a very decorative violin on e-bay (# 142426142). The seller states that it dates from c. 1840 and is out of the Vuillaume shop. It has no label. Is this for real or is it a German copy?
  5. I have a square shaped face. So, when I support violin with chin, I use the front part of the chin to make contact with the chinrest, rather than the side part. Using the side part gives me discomfort on my chin. The disadvantage of using the front part of the chin is that I feel strain on my neck and chin easily, since I have to press harder on the chinrest. I would like to know what types of chinrest I should use for my case, so that I can play violin with more comfort.
  6. I have a square shaped face. So, when I support violin with chin, I use the front part of the chin to make contact with the chinrest, rather than the side part. Using the side part gives me discomfort on my chin. The disadvantage of using the front part of the chin is that I feel strain on my neck and chin easily, since I have to press harder on the chinrest. I would like to know what types of chinrest I should use for my case, so that I can play violin with more comfort.
  7. My point of this post was whether we would regard violinists or other instrumentalists as (creative) aritists. Once I was in America, one of my friends laughed at me and said that no matter what I think in general people regard instrument players as entertainers. Should we regard them as just skillful players of instruments who entertain audience, or as artists who have their own interpretation of music and creat new artistic forms? People seem to judge violinists in terms of their technique and quality of tone and sound. Then, what is their difference from other skillful entertainers except that they deal with highest form of artistic products?
  8. I have noticed a small difference in classical performance introductions. Whereas in America, each performance is introduced as, for example, Beethoven's violin concerto "performed" by Permann, in Europe it is said slightly differently, namely, violin concerto "interpreted" by Perlman. It seems to be a small difference, but implication seems to be great. The latter seems to refer the instrumentalists as creative "artists" (or even music scholar) who have their on artistic interpretation in terms of their artistic ideas. When I was in America, people seem to rather like to regard instrumentalists as "entertainers" who please audiance. How do you think?
  9. It is now summer season. So, I tend to sweat on the neck where the neck make contact with the violin. The part of chinrest where my chin makes contact already has some marks from sweating. But I am concerned with the body of the violin where the neck makes contact with. Will my sweat harm the varnish of the violin?
  10. I recently realized that bow hair tends to get loose after some play. I guess this is due to stretching of hair, perhaps because of the heat generated by the friction between hair and strings. As a result the distance between the wood of the bow and the strings becomes short and therefore buzzing sound (due to the vibration of wood) is generated. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions for this problem.
  11. I have been wondering whether typical students of Suzuki reach the tonal quality of proficiency of Suzuki recorings after reasonable practice (say, few weeks of practice of the same pieces). Or can such level of playing be reached only after years of practices and experiences?
  12. I recently realized than some buzzing sound may come from the bow. It looks that bow itself also vibrates, especially when the wood of the bow is very close to or sometimes touches the strings. I am not sure wether this is a problem for a bow. I would appreciate any comments.
  13. I recently acquired my first violin from a reputable maker in Montreal. The label says Le Maestro, and I was told it's a commercially made instrument, French, probably around 100 years old. Any further info would be appreciated. Thanks Robert
  14. After almost 10 years of break, I began to play violin again. Unfortunately, it just didn't feel like what it was 10 years ago. Fingers were not strong and flexible enough first time. Now, it's improved. But there is one thing that is very hard to be improved. In double stop playing, it is almost impossible to bend each fingers so that they will touch specific two parts of string at the same time. Even with slow play, it's really hard. Is it because now I am old or is it a common problem even with young learner who just starts learning double stop? With time and practice, will it be better?
  15. Heifetz and Kreisler shared the same birthday: February 2. They also both lived 86 years! Heifetz died on December 10--that's Sarah Chang's birthday!
  16. : ~ I need more than one person to reply to check various sources. I have checked three sources: Henry Roth's "Violin Virtuosos," and two CD booklets. They all agree on one date. Can anyone tell me when Gil Shaham's birthday is? Thanks.
  17. First, a note: When I wrote about the "worst violinists" I've heard, I don't mean that they're the worst in the world, that even I can play better. I'm talking about world-class violinists, those who have international or historical fame. So Mike, you don't need to be that humble! Maybe I play worse than you! : There are a lot of factors involved. The performer : could have just been in a fight with his wife, or : his favorite cake of rosin just broke, or the hangnail- : ectomy just minutes before was only a partial success, : or the mustache dye turned out to be purple. Certainly possible, though perhaps not likely. : How old was Sarasate when you heard him? : How old was Huberman when you heard him? : How old were you? : What did they play? : What didn't you like about their playing? I didn't hear these two violinists in person--otherwise I'd be over 100! I heard Sarasate's complete recordings and Huberman's recording of Tchaikovsky and Lalo. Sarasate was 60; Huberman was 47 and 52. I was 23 when I first heard them. What I dislike most about Sarasate's playing was that it had no depth or musical value; he only plays the notes, and often he can't even play the notes well. For instance, his Bach Prelude was a total mess, for his bow and fingers could not coordinate. He rushed through the first half of Zigeunerweisen, playing with no rubato. The finale was spotty, as usual. (Can you belive it: Sarasate's recording of Zigeunerweisen lasted only about 5 1/2 minutes! Even Heifetz took 8 1/2 minutes.) I disliked many things about Huberman. After listening a few minutes, my first impression was: Here's a player who uses slides excessively! His exaggerated, ubiquitous slides really sicken me. I had never heard a player play so disgustingly--not even Mutter at her best or Elman at his worst. Of course, his playing had more problems. For example, in the swift double-stop passages, his articulation was awful: the notes don't even sound like musical notes; they sound like the beating of drum sticks! Huberman also rushes through the recitative-like parts in the Tchaikovsky. I have only touched upon some of the main points. Maybe you'll feel similarly when you hear them (better not buy those CDs! I listened to them at a library), or maybe you'll think that they're not so bad. But one incredible thing I do know is: Huberman is Leila Josefowicz's idol! I guess that might explain why I find Josefowicz's usage of slides rather bizarre.
  18. People often discuss about the greatest violinists, or their favourites. Do you think certain renowned violinists do not play up to their fame? For me, the worst violinists I've heard were probably Sarasate and Huberman.
  19. Good heavens!!! If this story is true, then I think it'll be quite reasonable to label Sarah Chang as "The Prodigiy of Prodigies"! : I was browsing MCML's archives and I found a staggering : anecdote of Sarah Chang. It was posted by Catherine Wadley (cwadley@bliss.net): : : "I was working with Zubin Mehta and organized for him to hear Sarah when she : was eight. She was playing a 1/4 size violin. When I came to get her from : her room she was jumping up and down on the couch while playing part of a : Paganini Caprice. : I brought her down onto the stage in Avery Fisher Hall and then she : asked Zubin what he would like her to play. He said just play whatever : you have prepared. She said I can play whatever you like. Her teacher : Dorothy delay then pulled out her repertoire list. I swear there was : nothing missing from that in terms of major concerto repertoire - including : Elgar, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms Sibelius etc. She was prepared to play : any or all of it and from memory. Zubin settled for little of the Tchaikovsky : and then some paganini. After about 10 extraordinary minutes : he said laughingly to Ms. Delay - she must be a midget - no-one could play : all that repertoire and play so wonderfully. And consider that she only : started playing at 4. : Two days later she played with the Philharmonic and astounded the musicians : with her musicianship and technique. : The concert was recorded by the Philharmonic."
  20. : I have recently been thinking of pieces to perform without accompaniment other than the Bach Partitas and Sonatas, the Paganini Caprices, the Ysaye Solo Sonatas and Kreisler's Introduction and Recitative, which are pretty standard (although very difficult to perform well). Ernst's 6 Polyphonic Etudes are extremely difficult (including of course the Last Rose and the Erlkonig) and the Wieniawski Ecole Moderne is also very hard, so what else is there worthy of peformance which is not just technically brilliant but musically satisfying for the audience as well as the player? Some works I feel worthy of study and performance are the 12 Telemann Fantasias for Solo Violin and the 6 Morceaux of H. Vieuxtemps. The Telemann works are beautiful, challenging and although maybe not as cerebral as Bach, certainly a standout in terms of invention and musicality. The Vieuxtemps, in case anyone doesn't know them are unlike anything else he wrote and demonstrate his obvious familiarity with the Bach Solo works, but are more difficult, especially in the chords he wrote - I believe they are for the most part worthy of performance and less of a rip-off of Bach than the Reger Solo sonatas. Does anyone else have a similar or contrasting opinion?
  21. Hello Tony, Do you know how old is Ms. Anthony? Has she recorded anything, for which company? Is she another product of the Julliard-DeLay mold? Thanks for your information.
  22. : I recently heard a new young virtuoso, Adele Anthony, from Australia, play this work in a concert in New York City with the NY Skandia Symohony Orchestra. I have a wonderful recording on tape of this work played by Arve Tellefsen (conducted by Yehudi Menuhin also). I rushed out to buy the sheet music violin/piano version after the NYC concert and am learning the work now. : My question is, why is this work so infrequently heard? I guess it's maybe not as great as the other big Scandinavian concerto, the Sibelius, but it's still a powerful, muscular and attractive piece, well written for the violin and a definite audience-pleaser. Any thoughts on the subject? Wow! This is interesting. I knew Shaham's girlfriend was a violinist, but I didn't know she was a professional virtuoso! How well did she play, Tony? I have Cho-Liang Lin's recording of Nielson's concerto. I really love the first movement, though on the whole I think I still prefer the Sibelius. Lin's recording won Gramophone's 1989 award and was also awarded a rosette by the Penguin guide. Vengerov also recorded the Nielson; I haven't heard it, but Penguin gave him only *one* star! Well, I never take Penguin's ratings seriously anyway.
  23. : I read many people writing about Sarah Chang and : Midory, but I barely see any posting about Kyung Wha : Chung. Many people I know regard her as the best : female violist. She tied with Perlman in the Tchikovsky competition and reagarded as a child prodigy : when she was a kid like Sarah Chang. When she was very : young, she was invited to British royal family to give : a concert. And of course, her recordings are regarded : as classic works. In my opinion, Chung is one of the two most active female recording artists, along with Mutter. But Sarah Chang and Midori are far better than her. Henry Roth wrote thus of Chung in his book Violin Virtuosos: "Chung is a consummate virtuoso with a fiery, almost ferocious temperament, though her slender tone, intensely vibrant, mirrors her slight physique and, at times, her tigerish tension produces tautness of sound. Chung's romanticism is often rather forced than natural which accounts for her comparatively unmoving performances of concertos by Bruch, Tchaikovsky, and Dvorak. Nor does she possess the breadth, subtlety, and variance of tonal color necessary for elite interpretations of such grandiose canvases as the concertos of Elgar, Walton, Bartok, or Sibelius." I agree with Roth in many aspects. By the way, I never knew that Perlman took part in the Tchaikovsky competition.
  24. : I was simply telling the truth, which is supported by ample evidence. Hello, Felix, I find your postings to be very rational and erudite. Thanks a lot! After reading your previous posting, I took out the two Sibelius recordings you mentioned and compared them with score in hand. Indeed, Sarah Chang's technique, even in that live concert, was virtually perfect, and obviously much better than Heifetz's. Heifetz "muddled through" many arpeggios and swift passages, passing by or playing inaccurately several shorter notes. His double-stop passages were awful. I didn't like Sarah Chang's harsh tone in this Sibelius recording, however. But Heifetz's was worse. Well, IMHO, I like the recordings of Oistrakh, Lin, and Midori better. In the past I had only heard Heifetz's recording of Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5. I liked his interpretation, but was a bit annoyed at his faulty intonation. Now I will go and buy Sarah Chang's recording! Also, I have Heifetz's (1937) and Perlman's recordings of Bazzini's Rondes des lutins. I know that passage where the violinist flits across four strings, playing the same notes. As a violinist, I understand how terribly difficult it is to play it perfectly, so I never blamed Heifetz and Perlman for not playing all the notes in tune. But since you mentioned that Chang's intonation was flawless, I'll buy that too! I don't care whether she edited that passage or not; I'd much rather listen to a perfect recording than a true but faulty one! One last thing: Sarah Chang held a concert here last year but I missed it. According to one of my friends who ear-witnessed it, she played with all the precision which characterizes her CDs. Surely I will never miss her concert when she comes next time!
  25. : Complete physical relaxation. That's it. : Very few have attained this. Many professionals don't have this. Those with long careers have physical relaxation. And even then, some of these are just products of good muscle condition. : I know of very few with complete physical relaxation. It shows in how they play, how they look, and most importantly...how they sound. : Many of the greats did not have complete relaxation. : There could be others, but here are the ones I know of that attained this lofty goal: : Heifetz, Oistrakh, Szeryng. I'll add Kreisler to that. From what I have seen and heard, I think the following violinists are the most relaxed: Sarah Chang, Heifetz, Kogan, and Shaham. Shaham's the one who I feel most "enjoys" playing the instrument. Oistrakh is not too strained either. But Szeryng, though he has no excess movements, looks tight in the neck or shoulder. He constantly frowns his face while playing. I think he would have been better off with a shoulder rest. But the important thing was that Szeryng didn't "sound" strained. Midori's the violinist who really needs to relax more. If she continues to play in the way I saw her two years ago, I don't know how long she'll be able to sustain her career.
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