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  1. in 2 weeks time there is a book launch in Cremona of the first comprehensive monography about Nikolai Kittel.

    Written by the experts on Kittel: Grünke, Gabriel and Chins. 30 Kittel bows in it. And some photos of documents contributed by kenway.

    There will be a lot of your questions and answers in it. www.nikolai-kittel.com



  2. Was your teacher Louis Kaufman? quote: Originally posted by: guta Nikia, Interesting topic. Here is what I was taught by my teacher, who had an exceptionally beautiful vibrato. You can hear it on the soundtrack of "Gone With The Wind", "Wuthering Heights", and about 150 other Hollywood films. 1. Don't get too concerned about wrist vs. arm. It's fine for both to come into play. 2. Focus on the rolling motion, down and back up of the finger. 3. Listen for the sound you want, don't get hung up on mechanics. As long as the movement is correct, i.e. down and back up, just use it, and let it evolve. 4. Incorporate some vibrato into whatever you are playing. Everything from now on should be pleasant to the ear. 5. Use it or lose it. So use it. All best. Larry.
  3. You could try factory-made violins/outfits from a mail order place (such as Shar or WW&BW). Violins of a certain model are all priced the same; however, sometimes the pattern works better on certain pieces of wood than others. I know someone who played a $2000 factory instrument through conservatory. In general, you can get a cheaper price for the same sound depending on the country of origin and the maker's reputation. Italian stuff will almost always be more expensive; Czech or Chinese much less so. Also, an instrument is cheaper if no one knows who made it.
  4. I tried a 1997 Fantoni in late '98. For $5,000, it was in my Final Three along with a German fiddle at twice the price (with maybe half the projection!), and a Berger (my current instrument). The dealer had another buyer waiting, so I sent the instrument back rather than make a rushed decision to buy. The Fantoni seemed to be the marginal favorite when tested in a concert hall for projection, and I don't think the instrument had even opened up completely at the time. So depending on the year and condition, $4,000 could be a good value for the money. The dealer who provided "my" Fantoni included accompanying notes with all the instruments he sent. "A player from the Arizona Symphony LOVES his Fantoni!"
  5. Quote: ...challenging third movement, in which the virtuosic element is speed. "One must not confuse virtuosity with speed." -E. Ysaÿe
  6. Quote: ...it's tempting just to play the notes and it comes out sounding like an etude... I think that's just the kind of music that proves someone's musicianship. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach too, but also those apparent etude-concertos. Once there was this composer--let's call him "Brahms"--who didn't give a rodent's posterior what critics thought. He did care about Viotti #22, though. There's an article, maybe in The Strad, that shows that concerto's influence on the Violin Concerto and Double Concerto of this "Brahms" person. The writer made a very good case with each of the musical examples, plus quotes from some Brahms-Joachim correspondence (along the lines of "what a wonderful concerto" and "I performed 'your' Viotti Concerto"). Kreisler, Ysaÿe, and Joachim (the well-intentioned source of today's out-of-control "serious music all the time" fetish) performed it. To show you how crude their musical taste was: they also performed Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart Concertos, as well as Beethoven Sonatas. If those critics think Wieniawski #2 is an inferior work, what would they say to the flashier #1 (written when the composer was about 17, and more influential in the grand scheme of things than some person with a newspaper job whining about what Fodor played)? Apparently it was good enough for Itzhak Perlman. He programmed it with the Israel Philharmonic once, but got sick and had a 14-year-old Schlomo Mintz fill in for him.
  7. Quote: Yeah, but you have to sign up at the NY times and they latch on to you like a bulldog after that. I've been trying to get rid of their related e-mails for the last two years from a link that was posted here. Is that who keeps sending me those emails about enlarging my mammaries?
  8. I've had a good experience with the softest gauge Jargar E's. The one E string I can't stand is Dominant steel E's; I've never tried the wound ones, though. Milstein squeaked an open E in Scherzo-Tarantella on his 1946 Library of Congress recital CD, so I wouldn't worry too much.
  9. I remember you! Aren't we old? How much time with accompanist will you get beforehand? Check tempos? Mark pianist's part for major places you take time and really play with the rhythm? On your own, you can make sure what you're doing is clear. Don't rush "boring" parts to you (where the pianist might have 256th notes or something). Take time in a way that's organic, so that your sound sort of dictates what you're doing with time. If you feel the rhythm and it's clear to you what's a triplet, what's offbeat, etc., then even though you're playing with a bit of give and take with the rhythm, the pianist will catch it. Plus, the pianist has your part written above his/hers and is an experienced "hired gun." Don't forget who's accompanying whom (I'll say that since I know it won't get to your head), unless your pianist happens to be a hundred-piece orchestra, in which case you'll have to give more and take less than expected. Especially in live performance, take the chance of not being together. The pianist will catch you, and if he/she doesn't, then at least you had less-than-perfect ensemble for the sake of making music instead of straitjacket notes. Enjoy!
  10. Belated happy birthday! I'm guessing 30 years old on the high end. Looking forward to hearing your creation.
  11. Sorry if someone mentioned this already--if someone has, I'll reinforce it. (Normally I'd read the whole thread, but I have to practice now, and in a way I've read this thread many times!) Use whatever set-up works best for you physically. I was talking to my teacher about the sound benefits of playing without a shoulder rest or sponge. She said, "What's the point of sound if you can't play?" To put her rhetorical question into perspective: she once changed chinrests because a luthier told her the clamp design would dampen less vibrations. The new chinrest forced her to change her head position, which in turn strained her neck, which in turn strained some muscles in her right shoulder, which started to spasm, which cut of circulation coming out of her right arm, which made her fingers swell while she played. All because of sound. ("The violin is not a trumpet.") Some people like a sponge. Some people like one or more of those red cosmetic sponges. Some people like a Kun. Or a Wolf, or a Resonans, or maybe a Playonair. (Zukerman uses a doorstop.) Some people would fold their lapels, or stuff their jackets. Some people played with no chinrest.
  12. I was just thinking about him! Actually, I've been thinking about him a lot lately, since his book is the reason I first got interested in the Schumann Sonata in A minor. I'm playing it in my senior recital in a few months.
  13. Thanks for sharing. For a while I wanted to buy "Hommage a Tibor Varga" from Berkshire Record Outlet, but it disappeared from their catalogue at least a year ago.
  14. Wow! The world needs more conscientious teachers like you. As for regular practice, maybe a different approach for each student would work, depending on that student's aspirations, needs, learning style, and personality. One of my friends used to practice 6 hours a day because his teacher was so incredibly demanding, critical, and blunt during lessons. At any scratch in tone or out-of-tune note, the guy would pounce. (Danger: student may burn out, crack psychologically, burst into tears, etc.) That approach may be best for students who have professional goals in music. I know of other teachers who will send students home if they're not prepared for a lesson, or they'll get all wide-eyed and shocked (but not necessarily angry) when a student hasn't practiced. "What? You can't come in here unprepared!" There's a teacher in my area who "fires" students from her studio if they constantly come in unprepared. I know of at least 2 instances when that has happened. Maybe part of the problem is the students need to get used to setting aside a certain time every day as untouchable practice time, like a daily appointment with yourself that you must keep. One thing I've learned (well, but too late) is that every day, the longer I wait to start practicing, the less likely it is that I'll even practice at all. Also, evening practice doesn't work so well for me since my mind is too worn out or flooded with garbage accumulated during the day. What motivates (and de-motivates) each student? I used to start every day with an hour and a half straight on scales and double stops, then wonder why I'm too tired and unmotivated to put in any more time later in the day. I'm fine, though, when I spend time on musical matters, vary my practice routine, and take breaks every 50 or 60 minutes.
  15. I don't. Try this: position your fingers on the stick the way they hang when you're just sitting around and relaxed. Now move your hand around about the wrist. Try playing at the tip and at the frog, and do some smooth back-and-forth string crossing with the wrist (keep the arm "quiet"). Now try with the index finger extended (if you have to, exaggerate until you notice what and where the difference is). How does it feel in your wrist when you move around? Galamian used to teach that bow hold way back in the day, most likely because that index finger position helped "grab" the string. One of the members of the Guarneri Quartet (Steinhardt, maybe Tree?) said it caused too much strain in his hand, so he changed the way he held the bow. Later in life, Galamian gave up on that bow hold too, as did some (but not all) of his students.
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