Ron MacDonald

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About Ron MacDonald

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  • Birthday 09/05/1939

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  1. In their last days, W. E. Hill was unable to obtain the waterproof canvas that they had used to cover their cases. Their last cases (I have one) were sold with a plastic bag and a note to put it on in case of rainl.
  2. The recordings by Szigeti with Horszowski and Szigeti with Arrau (live) are very special.
  3. Back in the mid twentieth century, Lawrence Cocker of Derby became renowned for his bamboo bows. They were beautifully made--one distinguished cellist abandoned his regular bows and played exclusively with those of Cocker.
  4. Late in life, Alfredo Campoli acquired a John Lott which he said reminded him of a Del Gesu. His last recording was made with this instrument.
  5. Woodcock was a strange character. Many years ago when I was a student I bought what was supposed to be a R. & A. Gagliano from him with his certificate. A decade or so later, I gave the instrument to a student and I thought he might like to see the certificate which I had lost. I wrote to Woodcock to ask for a copy and to my surprise he replied that he didn't keep records but sent me a blank certificate with his signature and told me to fill in whatever I liked.
  6. The neck was lengthened and remounted by Vuillaume but he did not replace it. It is original!
  7. As you say, 12 could be Joachim but 9 is certainly not Elman. Ron
  8. I know it sounds implausible but the bridge was carefully maintained even as it warped. I always am careful with m;y bridges. I am still surprised at its behaviour since the water treatment--I had originally planned it as a stop gap measure until I had a chance to have a new bridge fitted. Now I guess I'll keep it indefinitely.
  9. A year ago, the bridge on one of my violins warped so badly that it looked as if the top were peering at the feet. It had been fitted at a distinguished shop only a year earlier and I had always maintained it carefully. I planned to have a new bridge done, but as a lark, I soaked the old one overnight in water, wrapped it in wax paper and put it under the foot of a heavy sofa for a couple of days. When I took it out it was straight again and I decided to try it on the fiddle. To my surprise, it has never warped again and it is still on the instrument, perfectly straight. Is there a lesson here?
  10. I remember the Dragonetti Strad well when it was owned by my teacher, Alfredo Campoli. I've often wondered where it went. Alfredo's favorite bows were by Voirin but in his last years of concertizing he used a new Hill (with the artificial tortoiseshell) which he especially loved.
  11. FWIW, I have a Hill viola bow by Bultitude which is certainly not stiff and heavy--it's my favourite viola bow.
  12. In Canadian French, the dandelion is known as "pissenlit", or to put it politely, "urinate in the bed".
  13. I'll defer to the the scholars who have studied this concerto and concluded that there is convincing evidence that the viola concerto came first and that the harpsichord version is a transcription.
  14. Scholars maintain that the harpsichord concerto (BWV 1053) is an arrangement of the original viola concerto and that the cantata parts from which it has been reconstructed are closer to the original.