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Everything posted by HuangKaiVun

  1. For me, I avoid pain by having no shoulder rest and no chinrest. Anne Sophie Mutter seems to be a very small woman who uses a center mount chinrest. I think she'd avoid the neck problems by using a side mounted chinrest (or none at all) without a shoulder rest, but that would change her playing style.
  2. Get a real book and play all of AC Jobim's music (e.g. Girl from Ipanema) - that's if your guitarist can read charts. That kind of music is what audiences REALLY want to hear.
  3. I've thought about the Ehlers Danlos thing myself. My thumb can't touch my forearm, though.
  4. Your teacher just conned you into paying for the damage HE caused, paganiniboy. staylor might have put pressure on my violin, but that was an old crack that opened in a previously cracked violin. It's MY violin - I'm the one who had been putting pressure on it with MY head for a while. Besides, it got fixed within the week and I didn't get charged for it anyhow.
  5. Kreisler played fast in: Tambourin Chinois Caprice Viennois Tartini's Corelli Variations and a whole lot of other pieces. For sheer finger and bow speed, Kreisler was unrivalled. His virility and intensity of sound was due to his naturally fast reflexes, which was clearly inborn and not taught. Kreisler was also not afraid to push his tempi. He never played fast for the sake of playing fast, but his innate pulse clearly flew along at a faster rate than that of most violinists. In fact, Kreisler has a tendency to play slightly ahead of the beat in some of his own compositions (but not in standard repertoire). When playing this piece (or any piece), I hold the bow firmly but not stiffly. If I don't, I'll lose the bow and thus the phrasing.
  6. Apples and oranges. Audience should just listen and ENJOY. [This message has been edited by HuangKaiVun (edited 03-21-2002).]
  7. My joints are hyperextensible. For example, my pinky I can turn backwards past a 90 degree angle. So hyperextensible are my hands that I can play the double unison trill in Caprice #3. I also got rid of my chinrest so that I wouldn't put a crick in my neck when I tried to access these kinds of passages. I'm not sure if Paganini had a chinrest either. I drop my thumb to the distal digit/joint so that my hand can open up. But my hyperextensibility seems to be the main thing that allows me to play tenths easily. I also practice modes in tenths in the designated key of the Caprice I'm focusing on using all string sets.
  8. Kreisler never recorded this piece. But I'd still suggest listening to whatever he did. This is because he composed this piece to highlight his own strengths and weaknesses. The thing about Kreisler is that he had a tendency to play very fast but with a perceptible pulse. When I play this piece myself (see my soundclip on dzerzy's site), I try to have some of that same Kreisleresque frenetic quality. When hammering out those chords at the end, use the fingers of the right hand to soften the bow strokes. At least that's what Aaron Rosand told me to do.
  9. I don't know if Kreisler "gave" tricks to Heifetz, but Heifetz freely admitted to imitating Kreisler in his youth. Perlman definitely met Heifetz, and they used to converse on the phone. Occasionally Perlman would play for Heifetz. As much as I can, I seek out great old masters of the violin to learn from and play for. Tradition is important in violin playing, and there are unspoken lessons to be learned from the great masters.
  10. When I started teaching, I was approached by several parents whose kids didn't really want to play. The thing that I knew to insist on was having the parents present at the lessons. When the parents saw how miserable their kids were despite my (and the kids') best effort, that was usually enough for them to say "Enough". I always told the parents that I wouldn't take it personally if the kid didn't want to play and would wish them all good fortune in having fun in other ways. This always made the parents feel more at ease, as they were always afraid that I'd be "mad" or something. The way I see it, I've done my part as a teacher if a student tries the violin and doesn't like it. At least that student will have stepped away from doing something that he'll never enjoy.
  11. "The student has been told that he is not at the optimum age to learn" HKV: "The teacher has been told that he is not of the optimum mentality to teach".
  12. My assistant (teaches beginners) uses "Essential Elements for Strings Volume 1" and "Suzuki Book 1".
  13. Jeffie, I'm the type of guy that enjoys hearing OPEN STRINGS. I truly don't care what or how people play anymore. If they have the guts to post stuff in public, that's incredibly impressive to me. After 22 years of violin playing, I still get tickly inside at hearing people scratch through open strings and/or Twinkle. I'd rather hear BAD violin playing than NO violin playing.
  14. Don't listen to anybody. Listen to YOUR HEART and follow your INSTINCTS.
  15. If you don't screw up, Horace, I won't ask Administration to ban your butt. Don't make me look bad here. I'm always open to play anytime, though not necessarily anywhere. I am considering going on a road trip this summer.
  16. Gut strings aren't that expensive, but they do wear out fairly quickly. I think I'm going to go back to them, as I'm finding that my style is too harsh on steel strings. I recorded a Bazzini "Dance of the Goblins" on my student's $350 violin with my Sartory bow and stuck it on djerzy's site. This is another one-take thing, no edits, no retries, no accompaniment. I'm in the process of learning this piece, so it's far from perfect. Eventually, I might rerecord this work with gut strings.
  17. paganiniboy, I'm not blaming YOU for what happened to this bow. Rather, it's your teacher that I'm holding accountable here. What Andres Sender is telling you is true. On the other hand, your teacher STILL should've been able to recognize the warning signs. I've never had a perfectly adjusted bow suddenly go BOOM on me. I've had bows break on me, but usually they or I were defective to begin with. Now that I have a great bow restorer to go with my great luthier, I am having minute readjustments made to my bow regularly every time I go in for a rehair. Folks like those ensure that small problems don't become LARGE problems.
  18. Just talk to your teacher first. I don't care how many bows he has - I still wouldn't give a student a warped bow for such an important audition. Nor would I have allowed it to warp so badly to begin with even it it was a $45 little throwaway bow. If I were you teacher, I'd have LOOKED at the bow first before pawning it off on you. And if anything happened to it, I sure wouldn't want my student taking it to a luthier that I didn't know about or trust! If your teacher puts it on you, that's not right. A warp takes a long time to happen, and a break is not something that just happens the instant a bow is lent out. In fact, I'd raise a STINK if the teacher tried to bilk me monetarily to pay for the problem that HE caused. We'll see if a stink needs to be raised or not.
  19. Then again, using gut strings didn't hurt Kubelik - or myself. Personally, I really don't care what the world thinks. All I know is that when I play Bazzini's "Le Ronde De Lutins", I have an easier time of it on gut than I do on steel. Before criticizing gut's performance on a piece like this, one should TRY IT FIRST.
  20. If that were MY bow, I'd not have let it warp like that to begin with! Heck, I'd not even lend it to a student with a warp like that. No way I'm sending my guy into the audition of his life with a defective instrument!
  21. I myself started Suzuki, and I'm PROUD to say that I've never shaken its influence. My insistence on getting up on stage without music and playing the violin using my ear I owe directly to the Suzuki training. My mother misguided me in violin because she wasn't a violinist and my teachers weren't good enough natural violinists to guide me, but I retain the Suzuki belief that parents must be around for a kid to be successful. This is why I insist on at least one parent being at the lessons - an area in which I differ from my mentor Margaret Pardee. Every day, I practice Suzuki Volume 1. When people ask me to play stuff nowadays, I usually play stuff like "Lightly Row" or the Bach Minuets or "Twinkle". I don't do it out of homage to Suzuki Sensei as much as I do it because it's just GREAT MUSIC that is great for my violinistic conditioning. What strikes me most about the Suzuki method is that it reflects the Japanese penchant for systematizing education into easily graspable and yet flexible forms. I myself, having grown up in an Asian household, adapted to that regimen easily.
  22. But Kubelik also recorded his music before WWI. Back then, gut strings were en vogue. So I'm not just speculating - I'm just stating a straight fact of violin history. THAT is part of my "evidence". Even in the 1st half of the century, a lot of people were still using gut strings. Jascha Heifetz used them to his final days. I've played gut strings regularly and intend to in the near future, so I recognize that gut "boing" even over an acoustic recording. In preWWII recordings, they are still evident to my ears. The way the bow hits the gut string and the way the gut string vibrates is so utterly different from steel and demands a different type of technique from the violinist. Even on an acoustic recording, it's easily discernible to my ears. In fact, I had sworn off vibrato for a while because I didn't feel it was necessary given the warmth and flexibility of the gut strings. Now that I'm back on steel wound strings for the time being, my vibrato has returned because that's the best way to maximize the stiffer steel wound string vibrations.
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