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crazy jane

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  1. Slow movement, Schubert cello quintet. Arthur Rubinstein said of it, “This music has always sounded to me like a serene and resigned entrance to death. I have always wished to hear this movement, even on a record, in my own last hour.” I would also pick the whole quintet as my favorite chamber work--but maybe only if it's performed by Walter Weller's group.
  2. In our region, we were fortunate to have a dealer who has worked very hard to assist talented young players in finding very good instruments without bankrupting their families. I think he realized that he was cultivating his future clients, should these kids find themselves advancing in music as a profession. When my daughter (who in high school was lucky to be playing on a pretty good instrument that had been played by two generations of family before her) began the professional audition process after college, she also began auditioning better instruments through this same dealer, who ultimately reached out to other shops to find a match for her. It took about six months, but the violin she selected has served her very well in her professional capacity. The violin she selected was on trial from a shop two thousand miles away. I really recommend working though a good dealer who is willing to go the extra mile. Sure, he's going to make a nice commission--but that is well-earned, if he can access a much broader field of options.
  3. Along the same lines (for strings), never be the first player in or the last one out.
  4. I love Kenny Baker, too. But... Jerusalem Ridge
  5. It was my very great honor to play in the pit with this baritone for five different productions. The last was seven or eight years ago, when visa probem called him back to Korea. The Violetta is pretty spectacular, as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iBGPLH_dw8 of course Koreans can't sing. Everybody knows that.
  6. Nice to hear about George, who used to post here frequently and impressed me as a very kind man. I find his profile page (years active on MN) amusing--a true "old timer"!!
  7. James Burnham is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Raphael Bronstein. Burnham has held principal positions in several American symphony orchestras and performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera. He was a long-time chamber music teacher at Greenwood Music Camp in Massachusetts and also taught as a Visiting Professor of Violin at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He and his wife, Lesley Heller, produced an album for The Musical Heritage Society entitled The Heller-Burnham Violin Duo, which is currently available at most online venues. --from the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra bio page
  8. Well, bearing eight children while dealing with a husband in mental decline would certainly pose its challenges.... As the truly great violinist Camilla Wicks noted, “I don’t think the difficulty of having a career, marrying, and raising children will ever be solved. I didn’t dare tell management when I was pregnant. It was so hard. I wore special dresses and learned how to walk so I didn’t look pregnant.” (One of her children had significant special needs, and it sounds like her husband, whom she eventually divorced, was, well, "traditional" in his domestic perspective.) Her obit is definitely worth a read.
  9. I use Tuner Lite . It has a chromatic tuner as well as a pitch pipe function--and is free. (My cellist daughter recommended it, and she's got a pretty good sense of pitch.) Yay for quitting smoking! It's been 36 years since I did. Don't look back!
  10. I don't have small hands, but I do play a 16 3/4" viola. I strongly second Schradiek. I ate these up when I was young and it really built my technique. Now that I am much older, I find that my 16 3/4" viola grows when I take too much time off. To get back in shape, I do my calisthenics: the Schradiek first position exercises, to stretch my hand frame and increase left hand strength and fluency (--and to keep my first and fourth finger intonation honest); and select Kreuzer exercises for bowing patterns and intonation. By the way, my teacher also recommended taking up guitar (standard accoustic) to help develop the left hand. I never did, however.
  11. I am not sure the Primrose transcription was ever published. I do know that Roberto Diaz has a recording of it, so you might try contacting him through Curtis. Ask a Librarian (Library of Congress) is worth a try, as is your state's version of Ask a Librarian. If they have one, it is typically manned 24 hours a day by university librarians throughout the state and is accessible through most college and public libraries as a "Help" feature on the library menu.
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