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Everything posted by sonnichs

  1. GoPractice- Sorry for the late response-the "follow" option of this forum is apparently not working. Regarding "instruments are awesome-or not--depends on what you are looking for. The one I use in my present music area--which is electronically connected via Jam Kazam--is one of my own building. I deliberately voiced it stronger than usual since most of my friends play on modern instruments. I also build the last 2 with french style keyboards because the stand up well to the great humidity swings here. I always thought those were a bit heavier than the Flemish "tail pin" style. I built another harpsichord with soft iron strings in the top and it is voiced lighter-much to the delight of some baroque players that show up here. I built single keyboards since I find them easy for moving to concerts, quick to tune and I don't much use the 2 keyboards (I doubt I will ever play the Goldbergs!) You could probably go a long way voicing the jacks with stiffer material or easier, regulating a bit closer to the strings--maybe try a few test jacks first. Problem of course is you will have to work harder to play and most people don't like that. I am the only one around here that plays for the most part although the professionals that have used them like them. I live on Cape Cod (USA), 80 miles from Boston-and have raided the libraries there a few times, but I have night vision problems etc and rarely drive up there anymore. At least I am still alive! Yes--the 2 professionals I know are wizards at realizations (and ornaments) and I always enjoy hearing them. They are post 60 and I guess the still taught that at the conservatories back then. What I did learn about realization comes largely from the little book that Handel wrote. I found it better than some others I have. Sight reading piano parts is daunting-even just the left hand--for me! With our orchestra I hire a pianist for reading with us when we don't have the full instrument sections together. I got switched to keyboard once due to an absence and it was a disaster--even the pros here complain about "orchestra reductions" and can't generally read them very well. I have indeed used the method that you described--writing out the chords- but your comments are all good ones. For the time being I will probably mainly play the orchestrion with my wife on the fiddle for now. But as we emerge from the "Plague" I have a friend making reference to wanting to play the E major for one of our "Musicales" down here. In that case I will get out may pen and start work. Always fun as you say even when I have so much else to do with my "day job". Sadly all the real harpsichordists that I know here left-else I would hand over my instrument and comfortably seat myself in the viola section! The "mad man" sounds super! One of the sparks of this type of music is that there are so many interpretations. I have a few friends that call Jean Rondeau something comparable to a mad man--I don't quite get it. He possibly plays fast (do we really know?) but is always a delight. SO the sad news is that Kenneth Cooper passed on last week. I really enjoyed hearing him when I lived in Lenox MA. He was a nice guy. Well--I have string quartets tonight-I have Jamkazam set up with a Focus-right. Not the same as playing and drinking with friends in the same room but it sure got me and my wife thru the year. Oh--and no figured bass on the Viola! Thanks! Fritz
  2. Thanks. Your understanding is correct. Of course the word "realized" can be quite arbitrary (baroque players have bar fights over this!) but I think most "realizations" where the harpsichord is largely doubling the solo instruments in the right hand is a good hint that this is an orchestration--or at least a very poor realization that basically copies the score. I had looked over the Brietkopf and it is quite close to my keyboard orchestration version for piano. There are some pretty full chords in that edition that I assume (without looking) are just lifted from the score. In addition to being a poor fit for the group I find these orchestrations--this one in E, are more than a handful for me to learn in a week (I am just an amateur). I have seem some with almost unplayable chords. So from what you are saying i guess any realistic realizations are covertly stowed away in forbidden libraries! Not surprised. I will be playing with a group of people (on-line) for one-time enjoyment and this is not worth my time to sit down and write the realization out as I am very poor at this and it is extremely time consuming for me. Fortunately I have reasonable realizations for other works by Bach (the sonatas eg.) but not for this work. A bit surprised. I have heard virtuoso keyboard players get carried way at times and drown the fiddles et. al. especially when the latter are playing somewhat weaker sounding baroque instruments. I almost always play with the lid of the harpsichord down and a friend of mine who is a wizard at realizing figured (and even unfigured) basses "on the fly" always reminds me that when ever the harps starts to double the solo instruments, to cut that part down! And of course I am FAR from a virtuoso on the keyboards. thanks for your time! Fritz
  3. I am looking for a realized harpsichord part for this work. Up until now I am playing from the commonly seen "piano" orchestration, leaving out notes where appropriate etc but I would like to have a professionally realized part (far better than I could do!) I have looked on IMSLP, Sheetmusic Plus and a few other places but cannot fine one. Maybe someone here has a catalog number or similar for a currently in-print part. cheers Fritz
  4. Thanks Alex - I have tried it in both 1st and 4th positions, bowed as written. If I bow in groups of 4 I can stay closer to the frog and reduce arm motion. I am forgoing tone color with a view to just playing the passage cleanly. Arbos-I have fooled with just "ticking" the lowest note in the crossings much like a stop. Mozart indeed wrote passages that just don't seem to regard the difficulties of string playing. (Maybe he was "tweaking" his father with these passages!) Go Practice - HA HA--our conductor just balled out the firsts for playing too loud last night. I have a few low cost baroque bows and your point on the speed that these can offer is well placed. I have noticed lately some professionals holding their modern bow up higher lately--well above the frog--maybe they have relearned something. I usually play viola on the Brahms quints and definitely alter bowing to meet the dynamics. I don't know if it is my compromised hearing but I always feel as though cellists like to overwhelm us alto clef players. Wow! - Your perceptions on the Setzer and Drucker are very interesting and I wish my listening possessed that level of discernment. I find it delightful that they switch off the 1st role for reasons of comparison as you mentioned. I was privileged to hear them play late Beethoven last year. Dutton always steals the show for me-he looks so happy and delightful when he is playing his viola. Thanks for the further comments on practicing this. I always keep passages like this in mind and pull them up as exercises when I can. This is a good one and will cover a lot of music, esp. Mozart. vvvvDelighted to be playing Mozart. We are working on Dvorak 96 for the spring. Whole different set up problems but I find the Mozart more challenging! Beethoven? The middle and late ones are always psychologically engaging to hear--always something new seems to emerge and there are so many interpretations. They are too much for our group but we have read through the 59s at times. Thanks Bill- more practice hints are valued. I think I have a lot to go on from this post. In the end it is like learning to ride a bicycle-you never remember exactly how you were taught, but ultimately you put together all the hints and at some point it just "clicked". Cheers Fritz
  5. Thank you for your well thought out and extensive analysis. I really appreciated it. You are spot on regarding Mozart's second violin parts and we often joke about it in orchestra. I got nailed with more than a few challenging parts in his symphonies, and thinking back on it, I believe they were these Alberti type passages, usually at around 132MM I certainly can appreciate the role of setting the start tempo mvt4 in K387. The irony is that the first violinist in this quartet is my wife! So careful there. While I have large hands, I also have arthritis so I am still pondering executing the whole passage on the D string. I had been using something like your 2nd option at this point and probably will take that off to the concert (don't tell anybody!). At some point my question is academic--what does the Emerson and other quartets do here? I guess that they just have the talent to play passages like this at speed without much effort. I assume Mozart could do the same. Thank you for the exercises you mention. I have done some of this but you have pointed out some new things. I am always a little torn between wrist vs arm motion in these type passages. I also have tried cutting down the slurs and bowing the notes in groups of 4----grouping all 8 uses a lot more bow and brings one close to the tip, with and attendant great arm motion as you mention. All said I need to work more on these type passages. I play the viola a lot too and they come up a lot in those parts. Cheers and thanks again Fritz
  6. The last movement of the Mozart K387 string quartet is a delight to both play and listen to. I note that most of the major quartets perform at at around MM144. Our (amateur) group is taking it a little over MM120. I am on 2nd violin. All goes well until that Alberti passage in the 2nd half of the movement, duplicated here. I can usually handle the first such passage in the first half, but the second one is diabolical. Anyone want to tell me how they finger it at these speeds? There does not seem to be a lot of options-- I've tried it in 3rd position but that is one heck of a stretch. Cheers Fritz
  7. Sorry-I meant to spell that 'Henle"---either a "spell checker" error or too many beers last night--take your pick! For the record I see it by Henle as HL.51480139. Now regarding your spelling ......... thanks Fritz
  8. I would like to buy a copy of the Beethoven Sting quartet H34 (his transcription in 1801 of his Op.14-1 piano sonata). Rather nice quartet seldom heard. I see that Helene has it if you buy the whole opus 18 with it. Already have that and would prefer to just pay for the H34 only. Anyone know a source other than Henele? thanks Fritz
  9. Anyone know a source of the piano and viola, separate parts, for the 3 sonatas for viola by Julius Rontgen? They are a delight to listen to. (An ugly copy of the Cm piano part exists on IMSLP and the usual vendors don't seem to sell it.) Thanks, Fritz
  10. We preformed this over the weekend and I am back online --wanted to say thanks again for the additional posts. More great information here than I could have asked for. I wish this type of discussion was more often presented in practice books which are too often devoid of any text. For the performance I used 2nd position and per Andrew's comment I started on a down bow--much easier. I still want to look at reversing bows later. I indeed generally use some of the practice methods that Bill and Doug recommended. Will and Dr. S make and interesting point that I never thought of--there are few reference bearings into 2nd position. Sometimes our subconscious tells us things that we don't understand if we don't analyze (I have been accused of over-analyzing violin issues but then I work in physics and it is my natural flaw). Fingering is always problematic for me--at the usual slow startup practice speed a lot works-- and then when the conductor slams down his baton at 144MM you are out of luck--you learned a less than adequate fingering and it is "burned in". That is why I have come here often for advice on violin and viola fingerings and really appreciate this forum. Per Bill- these broken arpeggios are indeed one of Mozarts favorite tricks in warding off players like me. (I can just hear his ridiculous laugh about this as presented in "Amadeus") I long while back I asked this form about his KV301 ( See "Fingering for Mozart Sonata - KV301" http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/317205-fingering-for-mozart-sonata-kv301/. This apparently "easy" little sonata is a devil due to the almost ornamental broken arpeggios. SO-I have one more go at performing this in May-- Thanks again all! Fritz (not Kreisler!)
  11. Back at it again. Thanks for all the comments--everyone had good points. I will put Will's comment above all regarding how it might be played in Mozart's day. Reading Leopold's book gives us insights and I have oft read that in the days before the chinrest a profusion of shifting was avoided. You all emphasized the difficulty presented of hitting the A string at just the right time and I guess that is indeed the crux of the matter for me. Playing with increasing MM rates when it just begins to get ragged for me (around 130) i often don't hear the A string ring before the first finger comes down on it. Playing with accents off the beats has helped. At any rate this is a very exposed and charming passage that rotates around the quartet and there are few places for refuge. Will's last comment is well stated. We all are told "to practice slowly at first" ad nauseum but the thing teachers never tell you is that hands can act like machines and they react differently at different speeds. How many times have I showed up at the first orchestra rehearsal well prepared to find out that the conductor is going to take off at 144MM. Especially for an amateur (moi) it would be really good to start with a "safe and acceptable" fingering to begin with and not learn it with something that generally falls apart once concert tempo is reached. Unlearning is a lot more difficult than learning for me. The other thing I learned early on is the "audience factor". At least for me I perform at about 80% with a room full of faces staring at me. I generally like to learn a passage about 10MM faster than needed to hedge my bet. Thanks for all the great feedback. Fritz
  12. Measure 35 of the Mozart K465 string quartet has been giving me some trouble. (see attached) If you look at the broken thirds there if I play them "normally" in 1st position, I have a struggle with the transfer from the D to the A string. This is being played at 132MM. (At slower speeds less than 120MM anything works for me) To be fair age has made pulling my 1st finger back in such passages difficult and surely contributes but the passage always comes out rough or with a missed B note. I show two other fingerings which could work. The 2nd one has some "fluence" problems moving to the open A. Surprisingly for me the last seems to work best, when playing this passage a tempo. I would be curious to hear from others and which fingering they might select, with, important, a tempo around 132MM. (We usually play it a peg slower but I like to "over engineer" final practice speeds as a safety measure). I show a second example from this work, moved to the G string in the development section. cheers Fritz
  13. For the violin, we did a trial run (Shar) of all three coda bows (SX,NX, GX) and found them to be quite different. I originally thought that the only difference was in the fittings but now feel as though there is more to it. We held on to the Diamond GX and did an additional trial run against it of 4 wooden bows in the same price range. Our feeling (among 2 well trained violinists and myself) was that the GX lended much better articulation and clarity to playing fast passages such as in Corelli. It "gripped the string" and kept the notes well separated playing past 132MM on 16th note passages where the others did not. Tonally it was very subjective of course. My humble opinion - It equaled the wooden bows on slow passages with 2 of the 3 violins we were using. Didn't compete with a $5K bow we have but was much easier to draw tone. Final word-I bought the Coda GX as my main bow and my wife as a backup. We are very pleased with them. They are durable and I would expect that since they are "quantified" in the market they would hold good resale value if you upgrade later. I think the have a guarantee as well. In the viola world it was a bit different. I tried the GX and NX vs some equal cost wooden bows and selected the Becker and Jeandel against it. cheers fritz
  14. OK and thanks. Worked it over last night - The 2nd position as mentioned works. I find that executing the last cluster of 16ths in 3rd is smoother also. cheers Fritz
  15. I am struggling with the last movement of the Mozart Horn Quintet. The viola I part has one of those annoying "Mozartisms" that never seems to fit any fingering known to me. I would be curious how others might approach it. The movement is generally performed at a fast clip--around MM120. First position always stumbles for me in the last measure due to the A-flat. I've tried a few other positions but before a practice it to death with a bad choice I would like to hear form others. Any advice appreciated thanks Fritz
  16. Dr. S--- the late quartet is indeed on Netflix now, both DVD and streaming. fritz
  17. As Kate mentions baroque lengths and weights are quite random. I have mentioned the Chinese ebay bows tend to be longer and heavier than what one might expect. The typical stock ones are 70cm long and run 52-60g. You usually have to email the vendor to assure this information. The ones that I have custom made run 65cm at 48g (they charge the same price for these). The only book I know of that deliberates on this is Lindeman. Apparently baroque bows were made of quite a variety of woods (and densities). He states that short 50cm "dance" bows were 35-45 g, and sonata bows were 72cm long and 50-58 g. This later bow is much like those on ebay. Here is an interesting reference that should give some ideas: http://www.bows-viols.de/index_eng.htm (that black Stadler bow is one mean looking bow!) If you are just buying a bow "for fun" as you mention you could probably get started with a stock bow that is in the lower weight range. I am sure you already know that playing a baroque violin in the style of that time is a whole different world so testing bows can be difficult unless you are experienced or bring along in instructor. I have a few baroque trained friends that have evaluated the bows I have purchased. Good luck and hope this helps cheers Fritz
  18. Mark, I agree with Franciscus on this. A lot of bows are resold from Chinese vendors and you can do as well to go directly to ebay to buy one of these. I have bought several over the years and have no complaints. I have given some of them to professional orchestra and solo violinists and violists and they are delighted with them. One publically performed a Bach sonata with a bow that I gave her and it sounded great. Keep in mind that you probably won't be playing a lot of spiccato or ricochet bowing etc in baroque playing and while having the best bow possible is always nice you can get a good start with an ebay bow for under $100. When you are ready to perform Biber of course- you may want to upgrade You may find after a short time that you would like to have the bow rehaired. Keep in mind that the typical baroque bow has a thinner ribbon of hair and if it isn't of good quality it may "slip" a bit more. Also having good gut strings is an asset. The one issue I take with the baroque bows coming from China are that they all use the "Corelli" type model or similar-that is-they are quite long--usually within about 1" of the modern length. This is fine for baroque technique since they are lighter than the modern bows. However I play harpsichord at times for a baroque conductor/violist and he has shorter "german dance" style bows with which he likes to play Bach. Since he is well adept at this technique he uses the short bow to advantage to play clipped, quick passages in the gigues. I have since had some shorter bows made for my violin and viola using Chinese ebay vendors, who, by the way, were delightful to work with and eager to accommodate my needs. So-my final feelings on this are go ahead and buy a bow from ebay for under $100, If you hate it it makes a nice decoration. If you like it rehair it at some point cheers Fritz
  19. My old college room mate grew up on the street in Cleveland where Karl lived. He would play with his son. He once mentioned that at times when he would appear at the door looking for him, Karl, with his characteristic diction would claim that he is "taking his bawth". My friend had to go home and ask his parents what a "bawth" was. Silly story but one of those things you never forget We all miss Karl! fs
  20. Jane, Omobono---Thanks for the help! We had nice 60 kt gales here yesterday and what better night could one find to sit and work out fingerings. I tried out the method that you both suggested and it works really well. I fits "naturally" and also averts some stretching which is problematic for me (tendonitis). So I will stick with your suggestion. The only thing worse than practicing a new passage is un-practicing an old one. It always takes long to unlearn a bad fingering that I have practiced for some time-a reason I wish editors would give decent fingerings to begin with for those of us "learners". In this case the editors suggestion of 3rd position was a foil. I often find that I can write up a fingering that works nicely during slow practice but then when I bring things up to speed it falls apart- a reason to start out right to begin with. Some times the 'best" fingering for speed isn't intuitively obvious at lower tempi. I note with interest the use of the open string where the 4th finger could fit as well. Omobono's preference for the "ringing" is understandable and I will stick with it. I vaguely recall reading that Primrose preferred to grab the opens when possible-not sure why he would make a generalization like that. Thanks again-we are lucky to have folks like you that take the time to help us out cheers Fritz
  21. I am interested in a "better" fingering for the Bach Gamba Suite in Gm, 1st movement, around measure 7. I have used the fingerings shown in the attachment but find that it is cumbersome due to the need to move the 1st finger back and forth to hit the C natural marked with the arrows. After a lot of warm up (and slow practice) when I play this "at tempo" I can usually get it but it is always a worry. I play this rather slowly at about 112MM. Perhaps there is no better fingering but I was curious if one of you play it using something different. cheers Fritz
  22. Addie- I once read that Andreas Silbermann, the famous German organ builder was stabbed by a chisel sent flying across the shop by an irate apprentice. A good abatement for theft is lots of guns-the realistic replica ones. Leave them strewn about the house and burglars will take all of those and nothing else! fs
  23. I have long used my 40 year old Delta wet wheel (120 grit?) for roughing down (works fine for this) but go through a series of flat waterstones for final finish ending in 8000. Can someone tell me if the Tormek is used to put a final finish on edges of is it just for roughing down. I assume much of the cost is in the wheel! cheers, Fritz
  24. Sorry for the confusion-indeed it is the last movement. The edition is by Naumann probably Breitkopf originally. I don't quite sense any syncopation in this phrase and not sure how this would bring it out. The edits certainly depart radically from those of the original MS. The edition overall is not "over-edited" and seems pretty sensible. In keeping within the limited scope of my knowledge I always like to try to follow the editor's ideas, but sometimes I just cannot make sense out of them. Thanks for your reply! Fritz
  25. I have always been annoyed with my viola edition of the Bach Gamba Sonata in G (International) for the slurs/ties in the measures around 11 for the second movement. I have attached them here-start at the 3rd beat of the 2nd measure in the snippet. I can play that as written but always stumble on this if I haven't picked them up in a while. Once I iron them out they never flow smoothly. A peek (IMSLP) at the manuscript shows nothing close to this (other attachment). I probably will change the slurs to something more comfortable. Did I miss something here? I don't hear anything in this slurring that brings out some melodic trait, emphasizes any important notes etc. Do others us this pattern when playing the work? Cheers Fritz
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