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crazy jane

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  1. When I was a sixth grader starting lessons in the mid sixties, my teacher did not do recitals, but did regularly record and discuss my prepared solos on a reel-to-reel tape deck. I suffered greatly for the lack of regular recital experiences (significant nerves, to the point of shingles!) but benefited immensely from the taping experience, which led me to look with some objectivity on my playing and to focus on particular issues such as tone and fluency. I had an idea of what I wanted to sound like from a very early age. As an adult player who has been called upon to do principal duties, I have had to prepare some of the more important and challenging solo viola passages in orchestral literature and can listen to the recordings of the performances without wincing--in fact, with a significant degree of satisfaction. I thank my teacher for this.
  2. The great concertmaster, chamber musician, pedagogue, and role model, Jorja Fleezanis, has passed quite unexpectedly. She exemplified all that a teacher *ought* to be.
  3. My daughter *loved* Larry (--despite her other issues with the music department). She was so fortunate to play in a benefit for the Shepherd School given by Renee Fleming. Wnen they played "The Rite of Spring," Rachleff (who had become weary of bad entrances), instructed the French horn players to bring a lot of $1 bills, which he collected from them after each incorrect entrance. Fixed that problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij224PH8N9I (beautiful)
  4. A remarkable conductor and teacher. https://news.rice.edu/news/2022/remembering-larry-rachleff-beloved-conductor-rices-symphony-and-chamber-orchestras "Come on, people, this isn't Oberlin, ."
  5. The Makah tribe still hunts here in Washington state: https://makah.com/makah-tribal-info/whaling/
  6. Would it be this version? PS--I loved his show and specifically remember one broadcast focused on the choice and effects of major and minor in classical music. This is a very special broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SroFMeF4RY A few more broadcasts: http://electricka.com/etaf/etafhomepages/features/feature_list/biographies/karl_haas/karl_haas_home.htm
  7. Yes. Additionally, unlike most "collectibles," while a professional musician is making a living with their violin, they can depreciate the instrument's tax value even as its market value may continue to increase. I am not sure all professionals know about this (--my daughter's tax accountant apparently didn't).
  8. Henri Temianka was a good friend of my father, who was dean of faculty at CSULB when Temianka was violin faculty there. I was very young but was aware throughout my school years of his impact on the musical life in California, particularly his formation of the California Chamber Orchestra. I believe he played a Storioni.
  9. We have a very dear recording of the Brahms Sextets by the old Cleveland Quartet--Donald Weilerstein et al.--joined by Pinchas Zukerman and Bernard Greenhouse. If anyone needs a definition of gemütlichkeit, this will do nicely. It is, unfortunately, only available on LP, but that's how we roll.
  10. Also this https://www.amazon.com/Accessible-Orchestral-Repertoire-Annotated-Orchestras/dp/1442275790
  11. --and there's NO viola part in the pit version (though some might consider that an argument in favor of its greatness )
  12. I love West Side Story, but Bernstein sure has sticky fingers when it comes to stealing others' tunes--"Somewhere" from Beethoven & Tchaikovsky (slow movement from "The Emperor" Concerto + main theme from Swan Lake); "A Boy Like That" from Britten ("The Storm" sea interlude from Peter Grimes); "I Have a Love" from Wagner's Ring . . . probably others come to mind. Given its reiteration in Tony's death sequence, "Somewhere" is probably the most important melody, & it's simply a spin on one of Beethoven's most famous works. In many ways, the musical quotes make the work even more enjoyable. But they do not elevate Bernstein to the stature of the original authors (if there is even such a thing).
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