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About Altgeiger

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  1. Never talked about it with him, but he makes up all sorts of things.
  2. This morning at breakfast, my four-year-old son whispered to me, "Dad, you know saffron? If you get it on a violin . . . it will make it sound good!" I think he's discovered the secret of Nagyvary: guess early, guess often.
  3. There was a violinist named Harry Solloway who apparently was granted the title Cavalier; he was among those violinists whose abilities were perfectly adequate in 1914, but not 1918; vide G. Gershwin, Mischa, Jascha, Toscha, Sascha (1922).
  4. Looking into it further, I see that the John Antes trios would not qualify, since even though Antes was born in what would become the United States, he had been living and working in Europe for some time, had gone to Egypt as a missionary, and after being nearly beaten to death there wrote his trios during his convalescence. He then left Egypt for Europe, never to return to the Americas before his death in Bristol.
  5. Perhaps I should use the term 'Murican for clarity.
  6. I see I should have been more clear. First, I should have specified North America, and more particularly the United States of America. By an American violin work, I meant a work prominently featuring the violin by an American composer while he or she was a long-term resident of the United States — continental or otherwise — even if the work itself was composed on foreign soil. By "prominently featuring the violin", I mean that the listener would tend to hear the violin as an independent and interesting voice; this means that works like Antes's trios would probably qualify, while the Pachelbel works performed colla voce would probably not. If there are arguments as to what qualifies as a violin, and a work, and a composer, and long-term residence, I'll happily attempt to answer them, but I hope this is pedantic enough for now. I'm very interested in the Antes works, especially after listening to a couple movements. Thanks, Stephen Fine, for thinking of the Moravians.
  7. Rue, thanks for professionally obfuscating. I'm looking for a work with a single known composer. There are certainly ones in the middle of the 19th century, but I'm sure there are some earlier than I've yet found.
  8. Does anyone know what the earliest work for violin by an American composer was? I can't find a definitive answer.
  9. When it's a guitar or lute, the groups of strings that are played together (there aren't always two, and they aren't always the same octave) are called courses.
  10. I'm especially a fan of "historically informed" Baroque performances, and I've long loved Fritz Kreisler and Eugene Ysaÿe. If I had a favorite performance, it would be Perlman and Zukerman's recording of the Mozart violin-viola duos, or maybe Yitzhak Schotten's performance of the Borisovsky arrangement of music from Romeo and Juliet.
  11. That makes me feel . . . pretty well caught up, since Angele Dubeau is the only one on that list I don't remember having listened to a fair bit before! Anyone more recent coming to mind — this Nikki Chooi and Marc Bouchkov are more along the lines of what I need to hear about.
  12. I've been mostly out of classical music for the last fifteen years, and I haven't really listened to many new performers in that time. I realized the other day that, for example, Itzhak Perlman is now threescore and ten, and I can't rely on fiddlers of his generation forever. Who's come to prominence (or not so much prominence) since 2000, and what makes them interesting? I'm especially interested in violinists and violists, but I'd take cellists and bassists, too.
  13. Or the one about the Irishman who, when asked if he could play the fiddle, replied, "I don't know - I've never tried!"
  14. I wrote a little article on my website talking about what a violinist's has to be able to do with his or her hands, and I'd appreciate it if some of you would look at it and let me know if you see any obvious flaws. I don't want to be misleading, but it seems right to me. It's at I appreciate the help! Jason Fruit.