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Everything posted by gowan

  1. A 7/8 violin is still a fractional violin and I know of a number of adult professional players of small physique (mostly women) who play beautifully on 7/8 size instruments. The instrument in the OP really doesn't sound good and the "performance" is more of a stunt than really an artistic achievement, IMO of course.
  2. According to his bio on WIkipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxim_Vengerov) he plays a 1727 Strad (ex-Kreutzer).
  3. Have you read "A Romance on Three Legs", a good look at Gould's connection with his favorite Steinway?
  4. I thought normal shipping procedures were to: Loosen the strings in case the sound post falls Put some protective material, like bubble wrap or styrofoam between the fingerboard and the belly and also under the tail piece Fill the empty spaces in the case with cushioning material Wrap the case in bubble wrap Double box the case with cushioning material between the box containing the instrument and the outer box
  5. This whole topic is complex. A few years ago, the orchestra I play in performed a very complicated contemporary piece involving such things as aleatoric techniques and non-standard sounds made by regular instruments. It was very dissonant, atonal, and unmelodic. We had a big and enthusiastic audience for that piece, with many young (pre-gray hair) people attending. It is not easy to sort out what reasons why people listen to different types of music.
  6. I agree, as shown by my frequent live performance attendance and also my 1000 LP records and close to as many CD's. Didn't this discussion begin with something to do with judging the sound of instruments or voices? My response was in that context where acoustically, even $20,000 speakers and matching electronics can't reproduce the true sound of a single violin let alone a whole orchestra. That does not mean it wouldn't sound good. My stereo system is not in that league, costing only around $5000 but I certainly enjoy listening to it.
  7. Most commonly used equipment to play records in the 1950s and 60s was unable to reproduce high frequencies or low frequencies faithfully nor are they able to handle the loudness range. That includes amplifiers and speakers. Some recording companies, such as Columbia, in the 1960s compensated by compressing the sound into a narrow loudness band and boosted the high frequencies and the lower frequencies trying to make them more audible on mediocre equipment. All this creates distortion. If you play older records on modern high fidelity equipment it often sounds awful. Many old records from
  8. Have you considered the SAS chinrest? It is available in three or four different heights and is adjustable in ways your fixed rest is not. (see https://www.johnsonstring.com/cgi-bin/music/scripts/violin-viola-cello-music.cgi?xyUw3xafe=CHVVSAS&select1=SAS Violin Chinrests)
  9. I don't think pianos at that level are so uniform in sound and feel of playing as palousian claims. There is variation in anything made of wood and, of course, important parts of pianos are made of wood, the sound board for example. The action is made of many small parts which, as a system, function differently from piano to piano. Personally I think a pianist is asking for trouble moving a piano from place to place. For one thing, if you even move a fine piano across the room there is a possibility that it will need adjustment, let alone moving it by truck from place to place. There is a
  10. I would guess that you are not likely to fix it by yourself adequately and there might be more damage that you can't see. Eventually you would have to deal with whomever you rented it from anyway so the best thing might be to confess to the place you rented it from and let them fix it.
  11. Old, defunct quartet names can be reused prefixed by "New". For example, "The New Guarneri" quartet. This would be especially a propos if one or more of you play modern instruments modeled after Guarneri Some other ideas involve using city names, a past example being "The Cleveland Quartet". Is there a Bella Quartetto ? Especially meaningful if you play Bartok. In the (amateur) quartet I played in for 15 years the cellist, in whose house we played, lived on Maplewood Street, so we called our quartet the Maplewood Quartet, referring to the material present in all of our instruments.
  12. I studied violin in my youth, from ages 9 to age 13, when I quit completely. Thirty years later I took up the violin again. After one year I had reached the level I had been when I first quit. I found that accepting my limitations made it possible to keep going and I joined a good community orchestra at age 48. I began playing chamber music, which I love, and I started playing the viola thinking that would give me more opportunities to play string quartets. Now, at age 77 I am about the same level of proficiency at both instruments. I mostly play viola in the orchestra, apparently due to
  13. The maker of my instruments lives half an hour away from my house and has routinely touched up small dings like the OP showed. He uses spirit varnish to do touch ups like that and it is so fast-drying that it dries in the air while I wait. My thoughts are to do nothing and let it be a contribution to the history/patina of the instrument or else use some sort of "official" touch-up medium. If the injury actually goes through to raw wood, some sort of sealant varnish-like substance would protect the instrument better than some water-based stain.
  14. I don't know about the situation in Asia but not too long ago there was some trouble involving peoples' instruments being confiscated at the border. I don't remember the details but it seems that someone bringing a violin into the European Union countries has to have necessary documentation, claim that the instrument is your own and won't be sold. It might even be necessary to show on leaving the country that the instrument you are taking out is the same one you brought in.
  15. Just some relevant general info... Years ago I went to a concert by the Guarneri Quartet, and I noticed that Arnold Steinhardt's chin rest was very high. At a reception after the concert I asked him about his chin rest. He said that he has a long neck and had struggled with neck pain for a long time. Using a custom made high chin rest solved his problem. He didn't say who made the rest. Another thing...I recall reading somewhere that it is better to use a high chin rest than to use a high shoulder rest.
  16. David Bromberg amassed a huge collection of American violins. It was supposed to be going to the Library of Congress but I heard the deal fell through. https://www.thestrad.com/news/david-bromberg-american-violin-collection-faces-being-broken-up/9215.article
  17. Ivry Gitlis still plays but not at his peak sound quality.
  18. I agree that some excellent musicians don't understand how to teach. It is common to think that someone who can do something well he/she can teach others how to do it. Musicians who have had outstanding careers will make good faculty at conservatory or in a college or university. Some of these incompetent teachers blame the student when things don't work. Worst of all is a teacher who injures students by forcing to play in a way that is not compatible with the students' physiological condition.
  19. That top plate looks a bit Brescian to me.
  20. I like the recording by Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich. To me this performance has more expressivity and character than many others.
  21. https://www.thestrad.com/news-free-trial/dalibor-karvay-named-first-concertmaster-of-vienna-symphony/9736.article?fbclid=IwAR3EnzMwZcPUGYoAf6esNwOuZW9ADBW9qFhL8DwrvmwMfvgUFTikqf-enSk It says he plays an instrument by Viennese luthier Julia Maria Pasch. Anyone familiar with this maker's work?
  22. I have had good results reporting ads as "inappropriate". It took a while doing this every time and eventually the ads stopped.
  23. I think most classical concert venues explicitly state that recordings or filming are not permitted. However, there has been a long history of illicit recordings of operas, symphonies and solo recitals, especially of famous performers. These bootleg recordings sometimes surface commercially later as historical documents. In the past it was difficult to smuggle a small tape recorder, such as Nagra, and microphone into the concert. Now with cell phones easily capable of use in the hall it is very difficult to control secret recording. In the case described, the person recording was making n
  24. A couple of years ago I stumbled and fell onto pavement and, in trying to save myself, I jammed the middle finger on my left hand into the pavement, tearing open the finger tip. Probably the callus kept me from getting a more serious injury but, even so, a couple of stitches were needed. The laceration healed fairly quickly but it was over a year before I didn't feel any pain pressing that finger on a string. That sounds bad but I was able to play after a month. Just some discomfort lasted some time to totally heal. Good luck
  25. I can read music on the stand using my progressive lenses, provided the stand is straight in front of me. That makes it difficult to share a stand but, so far, I've been able to work out an arrangement that, while not perfect, is doable. In our orchestra one can have a stand to oneself but that means you have to sit at the back of the section. I like Andrew's solution. I can see the conductor well enough using the "wrong" glasses so I think I will try Andrew's approach after my next eye exam.