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lwl

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Everything posted by lwl

  1. Interesting. I wonder why Zyex behaves differently on violas. To me, on the violin, they have a lot of power, but not much depth or interest or warmth.
  2. Get a prescription for something that isn't -- go see a doctor (you should do that anyway).
  3. Though Alasdair Fraser doesn't seem opposed to sheet music. His music gets transcribed to hand out on paper to folks in his San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers, for instance.
  4. My experience in the workplace is that gender discrimination occurs quietly and often unthinkingly. I worked for a high-tech company where the CEO once expressed concern to the employee base that a survey had noted a very high level of employee concern at the lack of women in middle and upper management. The CEO said that he felt that he always promoted based on merit, and not on gender. And yet when the time came to choose a new division VP, there were two candidates, one male and one female. The woman was the superior performer, better qualified, more experienced, and better liked by her peers and staff. But the decision was made "informally", on a non-business fishing trip between the senior management who were friends with each other -- where only men were invited. The male candidate was invited; the female one was not. And they promoted the man. I have seen men who did not want to hire attractive female underlings, because they either felt themselves to be subject to temptation or because they feared what their wives would say if they knew they had a particular attractive young woman working for them. I have seen men who worked for me turn in interview assessments of female candidates that began with, "She has a really nice @ss." Reverse discrimination no doubt occurs as well, these days, but my experience is that men are vastly more prone to it. Also, because at the moment there are far fewer women at the top echelons of corporations, the informal "good old boy" networks don't help them along in their careers. That may change with time, but today, it's definitely an issue. [This message has been edited by lwl (edited 12-05-2001).]
  5. I don't think that the recordings made of him are truly representative of Sarasate's playing. I believe we know that Sarasate was one of the unfortunate players for whom age severely affected the reliability of their technical facility; he was well past his prime by the time of the recordings, despite being relatively young. The issue with those recordings is not so much the notes missed and the intonation issues; it's the sense that the player is careening out of control, unable to really shape what's coming out of his fingers, and the loss of rhythmic integrity to what is clearly rushing and not deliberate tempo manipulation. Yet it's clear that he must have once had magnificently quick, graceful technical facility. I'm grateful to have the historical record, but it's a shame that we don't have anything of Sarasate in his prime, playing things the way I would think he'd truly want to play them. (It seems out of keeping, for instance, for Bruch to dedicate a work like the Scottish Fantasie to Sarasate, if Sarasate's playing on record truly reflected his "usual" style.)
  6. I think for a lucid explanation of bowing techniques, I prefer Robert Gerle to Galamian. Flesch is good, too.
  7. Alasdair Fraser seems to make extensive use of positions beyond the first, in order to color his sound in particular ways, though I don't think he ever plays above fifth position. He has beautifully well-controlled position changes -- like a Kreisler-era violinist's sort of aesthetic about sliding. (His technique seems very much fundamentally a classical player's technique, to my ear, in general, though...)
  8. The answer to that, Cedar, is "Yes". However, importantly, it's not true for the Gen X professionals, who were lucky enough to begin their careers in a more or less egalitarian workplace.
  9. Try the Menuhin Shield mute.
  10. I don't own a recording of this to check, but my recollection is that Mintz sounds like he has technique to spare in the Caprices. At the very least he hits the notes in tune. I do often wish that Mintz had a clearer sound; I think it's not so much that he's fumbling notes or even not articulating, but that his tone production seems to blur one note into the next, or his bowing technique creates a lot of extraneous noise rather than the pitch itself.
  11. To me, the Tzigane is a gypsy work -- and should be played accordingly. I don't know enough about the history of this piece to say this with any certainty -- but I would conjecture that it's possible that the written-out time is intended to be gestural -- to illustrate the irregularity of the rhythm, not to constrain the player to follow it exactly. Did Gitlis record this? I bet it's the sort of thing he'd play wonderfully.
  12. I wonder if Rosand is one of those people unfortunate enough to not have a workable rapid-fire single-bow staccato -- it's one of those things that's more natural than developed, in my opinion. He plays "Hora Staccato" spiccato instead, which is probably not an interpretively defensible choice unless it's that or not be able to play the work at all. Anybody know? (Milstein also lacked a brilliant staccato -- and consequently seemed to avoid performing works that required it.)
  13. It's the Last Rose of Summer (#6 of the Six Polyphonic Etudes).
  14. I rather think that most women who go into the combat branches of the military are unlikely to be any more hesitant to shoot than the men are. They're not exactly fluffy people, y'know? My issue is never what the *average* man is better at doing than the *average* woman. My question is, would the overall quality of the person in a particular position be enhanced if the talent pool were widened to include women? There are plenty of examples of female soldiers in history. Nothing seems to indicate that they were significantly more, if at all, merciful than the men.
  15. At the speed of Moto Perpetuo (quarter = 180), you will end up with a sautille' stroke -- the bow should bounce on its own (as opposed to the controlled spiccato stroke). If your left hand tires during a solo work, you are working too hard. Try using less pressure with the left hand.
  16. What point? It's a cosmetic thing, not a job-function thing. Conversely, men cannot wear skirts.
  17. quote: Originally posted by iupviolin: So, nobody answered my question...If women are equal, why don't they have to get a buzz when they go to Boot Camp? It's for reasons of public appearance. Men with their hair buzz cut look neat, attractive, and professional. In today's society, though, a woman with her head buzzed is considered to look freakish, unattractive, but most importantly -- not professional. In women, shaven heads are taken as a sign of rebellion (think Sinead O'Connor). Consequently women merely have their hair cut very short. (In fact, I believe regulation hairstyles for women are quite strict -- but different from men, due to different societal standards for what is considered a professional-looking but short haircut. Indeed, I believe that women are actually not *allowed* to get their hair buzzed, for that reason...) If the norms ever change, I expect that women, too, will have their heads shorn. [This message has been edited by lwl (edited 11-30-2001).]
  18. quote: Originally posted by crystal: I don't think the girl who joined that all male military school was right either. This is a school that has a wonderful rich history in our country and these cadets pay a very high price to attend if they're accepted. There are many other equally reputable schools that are co-ed that she could have attended. I think the issue with her (and the Citadel, of which we are speaking) was that there *weren't* comparable schools she could attend. The Citadel offers very low tuition, as a state university, a particular kind of military environment, and an excellent alumni network. It also, to be blunt, doesn't require that much in the way of academic qualifications (consider the average SAT scores and class rank of the previous all-male student body). There's no comparable school in the country that she could have attended. (Of course, she turned out to be a screw-up in plenty of ways, but the candidates who followed her, who I believe were initially ROTC transfers from other schools, turned out to do well.) Granted it disrupted the existence of what was a unique educational experience for men, but that by itself wasn't a compelling case for a publicly-funded school, in my opinion. (The Citadel also couldn't make the argument that West Point, for instance, tried to make prior to female integration into its student body. West Point's purpose is to produce officers for the Army. The Citadel aims to develop citizen-leaders through its military environment; the production of officers is a side-effect.)
  19. Lymond, is your primary problem the up-bow staccato motion itself, or clean coordination of it with the left hand?
  20. There are all-boys choirs and all-male and all-female choirs, I might point out -- for the very good reason that the voices have their own distinct timbres that directly and incontroversially result in a particular sound. Consequently, these can be legally supported by public funds, I believe. I believe that all-female, all-black, etc. orchestras are permissible and can be publicly funded, on what I would guess is the justification of "providing greater opportunities which would otherwise be less accessible to a group that has traditionally been discriminated against".
  21. Sounds like Fodor. He's still doing some recording for a small label (you can get his CDs on Amazon), and he does engagements with second-tier orchestras. He played with my community orchestra last year. I don't know what violin he was using, but he had a surprisingly small tone. Rather difficult to hear him, even in the small hall.
  22. Hey, neither statement is factually incorrect -- no doubt there are indeed many fine French bows that weigh exactly those numbers. This is like saying, "Many smart people weigh exactly 150 pounds."
  23. There were originally all-boy and all-girl schools because there were utterly different reasons for educating boys and girls. The two could be expected to be educated together until a certain age, in many eras -- and then if there was further education to be had, the boys would get it. Later on, girls went to finishing schools of various sorts that weren't particularly oriented around academic subjects. That did not change, really, until the 20th century. (Separation of the sexes occurred well before the age of puberty, in any event, so the argument of romantic distraction doesn't hold weight there anyway.) As far as Cedar's argument on "if it's such a good idea, why haven't we done it before" goes, my answer is simple: Human relationships have ultimately been about the dynamics of power and economic reality. Certainly this has been true about the relationships between the sexes. In a primitive society, the physically stronger male has a certain role (to be the hunter, warrior, etc.) whereas the woman has a more domestic role (and often a not-insignificant degree of power as a result). As society advances technology, the economics of power alter themselves. In an industrialized society, men and women take on increasingly equal roles. A significant amount of societal change can be traced back to World War II, when the shortage of available men meant that it became an economic necessity for women to take on what had traditionally been male professions. The post-war economy, and the subsequent development of an information-based society, made more and more work a labor of the mind rather than a labor of the body, thus placing women in a position to be able to compete effectively with men for those jobs (the "average woman" likely to be just as good as the "average man" in them). By the way, you can make the same argument about slavery: it was the foundation of entire economies. Slavery didn't just end because people eventually decided it was wrong -- slavery ended because it became increasingly economically unattractive on a long-term basis. Also, technology creates luxury -- and luxury enables human beings to pursue ideals rather than struggling to survive upon a hostile planet. People with leisure time get to spend more time thinking about what's *right*, rather than just caving in to what's practical.
  24. Addressing the question of women in the professions and their "tendency" to quit when they get married or have children: When the workplace first really became available to women in a somewhat equal basis to men during the mid-20th century, women tried to "do it all" -- have a career and a family, as well. This let to the latchkey kid era, and from there, to the present day. Today, the younger generation understands the importance of balancing a career and family and household responsibilities -- but they no longer believe it should be the woman's responsibility. Rather, today there's the concept that these duties are shared. Quite a few people *do* make the decision, in previous decades as well as now, for one partner to stop working or at least scale back on their career, in order to devote more attention to the children. In the past, this was almost always the woman; in the present, it's becoming more and more commonplace to find men being the more "domestic" half. Previously, it made more sense for the woman to give up her career, because it was highly probable that her income was less than the man's. Today, while there is still definitely pay inequality between men and women (even between those working the same jobs), it's no longer a given that the husband will make more than the wife. Consequently from a financial perspective it will often make more sense for the husband to be the stay-at-home. In an orchestra, of course, the "women are more likely to quit" argument makes a lot less sense than it does in many other professions. Because of standardized salaries, female players are likely to be just as well paid as their male counterparts. Furthermore, there's no real reason why they should be any less devoted to their careers -- in a major symphony, they have endured a lifetime of grueling training, competed hard to get the positions they occupy, and are fairly unlikely to want to give it up!
  25. crystal, I just re-read your earlier posts, and I can't say that I interpret them any differently now from when I first read them. You seem to be saying that a set of issues exist, and you understand why the Vienna is doing what it's doing and you think it makes their home lives easier. Even though you don't believe that it's right, you believe the stance is defensible. I disagree with both your premises and your conclusions. The key part of that is that I don't find the stance reasonable or defensible.
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