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  1. Jeffrey, vlnhunter, Thanks for the replies. It's odd - the f holes don't look that large to me, but what do I know about violins - I just play the darn things! -) Actually, I'll be seeing Jason Price of Tarisio tomorrow - here in San Diego, he's doing a valuation of instruments for upcoming auctions. If I remember, I'll ask him about this one. Larry S.
  2. I was looking through Tarisio's latest offerings; I was surprised by the description of lot 289: "A SURPRISED VIOLIN, LATE 19th CENTURY" link: http://tarisio.com/pages/auction/auction_i...sCategory_ID=36 Is this a real term, or some sort of typographical error? It doesn't look unusual to my eyes. Larry S.
  3. Dean, David, Ken, Thanks, all, for the informative replies. I'll talk to my local luthier about replacing the nut. It's curious what a small difference can make. After a few moments trying out my violin, a local professional player commented, "Boy, that G string is way over there, isn't it?". It's not that *big* a difference, but enough to be felt. Regards, Larry Samuels
  4. On my violin, it looks (and feels) to me as though the spacing between the G and D strings at the nut is larger than the spacing between the D-A or A-E strings. I've put a picture (and these questions) up on a webpage: http://sandiegobagpipes.com/violin/violin_nut_question.html I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me if this spacing is unusual. It does seem to make playing double-stop 5ths more tricky. -( The other questions I put up on the page are: a. Are the distances between strings at the nut usually equal? b. Is there a standard distance? c. Since player's fingers sometimes differ, I can imagine folks requesting larger or smaller spacing - does this happen much? Thanks for any help and information about this. And happy holidays to you all! Larry Samuels
  5. Lyndon. Is there any chance you could post pictures of the cases you have? I'm always curious to see more. -) Larry Samuels
  6. I've always enjoyed looking at pretty violin cases, so when Glenn Wood mentioned a while back that he was considering writing a book about violin cases, I kept an eye out for more information, so I'd know when it was ready. A few weeks ago, in an online discussion of Hill cases, he mentioned the book was almost ready; his book "The Art & History of Violin Cases" is available now from the website: http://www.violincasecollecting.com I purchased it from that site (which takes you to the publisher's website, authorhouse.com, for the purchase). I purchased it on April 21 and received it on April 28, with no problems ordering through their website. I notice the book is also available from Amazon. It's a softcover book, 8.5" x 11", 116 pages. The table of contents: Preface/Introduction European Case making: Italy, England, France, Germany, New World The Moderns Acknowledgements/Index The book is lavishly illustrated with photos of the cases under discussion. There are plenty of black and white photos, often showing close-up details. There are lots of mouth-watering color photos, showing the full beauty of the cases as well; some of the cases shown are truly gorgeous. A quick skim reading shows lots of discussion of techniques of making and materials, along with mentions of advances in cases (as well as a few directions that never quite panned out!) and the ways in which cases were used. The history of cases is well-described, along with some of the famous violins and makers associated with them (Vuillaume's case for "Le Messie" matched his sideboard?!). This is a truly unique book; I don't think the subject has ever been covered in a book before (the April 2008 Strad had an article on violin cases, with information provided by Glenn Wood and Dimitri Musafia). I'm enjoying reading it; if you think you'd be interested in the subject, I think it'd make a nice addition to anyone's library, or a great gift! Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this book. I've had some pleasant email exchanges with Glenn Wood about violin cases; I wish him lots of success with this book! Larry Samuels
  7. Jonathan, That looks like a very interesting concert! And quite a finger-bender... I went to Anastasia Khitruk's website and found a video of her playing "Der Golum" there. http://www.anastasiakhitruk.com/recordings.htm It's quite a piece! Can you tell us anything about it, or the composer? Yes, I'm being lazy about doing the research myself. -) Larry Samuels
  8. I attended an exhibit "The Violin in America" at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA, USA (about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego): ">http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ See their section "Current Exhibitions". It's a nice opportunity to see a number of American makers, all in one place. For a $5 admission fee, it's a pretty good deal! A number of modern makers have contributed to the displays: Alf, Curtin, Burgess, and many other. There are a few bows, but it's a small part of the exhibit. The violin-related exhibits are distributed throughout the regular collection. I thought I'd mention some of the things I viewed there. There's a church bass by Darracutt, half-open on the sides so you can see all the cleats holding the cracks together. -) A 1778 violin by Peter Young, Philadelphia, PA; highly arched, with ornate, flat-square mother-of-pearl pegheds. Many older items are donated by the David Bromberg collection: a Gemunder, Hornsteiner, Squier, an A.W.White. Specially featured are instruments by Carl Becker, Sacconi, and Frosali (just one instrument each). There are bows by Douglas Raguse, David Russell Young, and Benoit Rolland. There's also some notebooks there with collected articles by and about Rolland. The 'modern violin' section is especially nice to see: some Ifshin "Jay Haide' instruments, Andrew Ryan, Christopher Germain (very attractive instrument), Roland Feller, Francis Kuttner (with 'samurai" F-holes, sharply angled at the top end). There are some 'modernistic' shaped violins - Guy Rabut's instrument was almost 'cubist' looking on the top, the sides and back decorated with black with gold stripes. It's called the "Black violin"; there's a picture here: ">http://www.rabutviolins.com/specialprojects.htm Anthony Lane's violin had less prominent corners, and a unique "scroll". Joseph Curtin was represented by two 'ultralight' violins, again with unique scrolls, and special material (feet) supporting the bridge and soundpost, to minimize damage to the violin. David Burgess, bless him, has a beautiful violin in the display. Grubaugh and Siefert have a baroque violin and viola. There's a Hutchin's Octet on display. Gregg Alf (bless him, too!) has 2 violins, a viola, and a cello there, near a Kuttner cello and a David Folland cello. There's a violin by Carleen Hutchins with holes in the sides, to open and close for sound tests; it's nicknamed "La Gruyere" (as in the swiss cheese ... get it?) And a balsa wood violin by Douglas Martin. In the electric violin display, there's a "balanced shoulder rest' by Laurie Anderson - it uses a counter-balance idea, hanging over the left shoulder, to support things. I don't know if it's only intended for electric violins, though. I missed the opening ceremonies with Joseph Curtin, Bill Townsend, David Lusterman, and Benoit Rolland. A concert featured the Hutchins Consort and Anne Akiko Meyers performing - I wish I'd know about it! There will be a chance to play some of the instruments later in the year. I'm already signed up; when I do, I'll try to post my impressions. Larry Samuels
  9. Chet, I believe you'll have to find the pieces individually. -( I grew up listening to this album, and I really enjoy it too. The recording doesn't list the arrangers of the pieces (at least, mine doesn't). For instance, the arrangement of "Bess, you is my women now" is pretty much the Heifetz-Gershwin arrangement, with some modifications in the violin part. I've always assumed the Dvorak "Humoresque" arrangement was by Kreisler, but I don't know for sure. There's a youtube video of Rachel Barton playing a Maud Powell arrangement that's similar: Good luck! Larry Samuels
  10. Tony, You ask "Does anybody actually want them?" I'd be happy to buy a well-playing replica of the Strad inlaid violins. When shopping a few years back, I played some Scott Cao Hellier and Greffhulle replicas; they were only OK at best. It's been a while; my memory is that they were lacking decent response in the upper ranges of the string, and were just un-remarkable in general. (This is not a slam at Cao violins - I bought a fine responding Cao 950, a "Kreisler" replica, but it was extremely well set up, unlike the others.) A fine playing replica of the Hellier or Greffhulle violins would definitely be something I'd consider; I love the looks. Regards, Larry Samuels
  11. Jonathan, That *is* great news! I'm always looking for lesser-known pieces to enjoy and, perhaps, bring into the mainstream. The lineup of composers and performers sounds excellent. I'm really looking forward to hearing these recordings. Larry Samuels
  12. Thank you both. I was wondering if there was a term for this technique. ("Romberg flat"). I'm not too surprised if it's not being used anymore, especially on violas. Maybe it's time to retire this one ... Larry Samuels
  13. I've recently been playing my viola from my student days. Here's a picture of the fingerboard: http://sandiegobagpipes.com/vi...iola_fingerboard.html The curve of the fingerboard isn't continuous; there's a definite break between the G and C strings, and a sort of a 'ridge' on the fingerboard at that point (I hope it's visible in the photo). In fact, it seems as though the fingerboard falls away in almost a straight line, not a curve, to the bass side of the instrument from there. It seems to add to the difficulty in playing comfortably on the C string, to say the least. -) I asked around, and this break seems to be common on cellos. I'm told its purpose is to allow the C string room to vibrate, without contacting the fingerboard. Is this right? Is this common on modern violas, or even older violas? Thanks for any info on this. Regards, Larry Samuels
  14. One of my neighbors here in San Diego, an older gentleman by the first name of Brockway, attended the workshop (I can see him at breakfast on the right of the photo above). I'm looking forward to hearing all about the workshop from him! My wife and I (we both play violin) are looking forward to seeing his violin(s). Larry Samuels
  15. Can anyone identify the background music (violin concerto?) to this video? It sounds nice enough that I'm a little ashamed I'm not familiar with it. -) Larry Samuels
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