crazy jane

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  1. 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!
  2. 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 acc
  3. 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.
  4. Wonderful post, Andrew. Happy New Year!
  5. If you enjoy literature, here is a prescient "short" (but rather long) science fiction story by E. M. Forster from 1909 about a world technological shift away from travel and direct experience and to self-isolation and virtual experience. I recommend it to all (along with Elizabeth Bishop's great poem, "Questions of Travel"). The Machine Stops
  6. When we walked into the wrong church in Prague--not the one with the organ concert (we'd seen musicians entering)--we were lucky enough to hear one of the most moving concerts of my lifetime: an all Dvorak program, none of which I was familiar with, the centerpiece of which was his wonderful Biblické písně (Biblical Lieder) for baritone and orchestra. The audience was rapt. No one coughed or whispered or unwrapped cough drops or clapped between movements, as they are wont to do in the States. I suppose that could seem unenthusiastic. The audience for Jenůfa in Budapest was similarly restrain
  7. Ditto that! I've been in the pit for Lucia and L'elisir and enjoyed both immensely. Don Pasquale was, unfortunately, covid-cancelled. Oh, the tyranny of personal opinion...
  8. It seems to me that we need to be more careful in distinguishing the performance from the music. I have heard PhilipKT elsewhere denigrate Tchaikovsky's music as that of a "spoiled baby," so I am already questioning his criticism of PatKop, which I can't really distinguish from that of the composer himself. Music resides purely in the mind--performance interprets it. That is why it is so frustrating for some players, even great ones, to feel that performance is doomed to fail. Bach wrote his Art of the Fugue for no person and no performer and no specified instrument. In that way it is lik
  9. The role in the 20th century has been (until recently) a bass-baritone (along the lines of Ramy). There's a wonderful recording with Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich and Lucia Popp (Ferdinand Leitner). But it's rather a hoot to listen to two countertenors dueling in the political roles of Caesar and Ptolemy (different production)--gotta love it (and the amazing horn playing--natural?):
  10. Here is an interesting performance, for your consideration. It features divinely beautiful music, two unparalleled singers, and (curious for Salzburg) an imported band. Obviously the direction is....unusual. Yet the performers all seem to be enjoying themselves immensely, and the idea that Cleopatra seduces Caesar here not by her physical beauty but by the music of her words is, I think, wonderful. The production is at once both fresh and modern (if not to everyone's taste) and decidedly HIP in its musical renditions. Yet those "historical" elements--the countertenor, the vocal and instrumenta
  11. I still can't get past your categorical condemnation of Tchaikovsky as a "spoiled baby"--that, for the man who wrote not only the deeply felt score of Eugene Onegin, but who also wrote the libretto, with its deep and complex insights into the diversity of human passions. I won't even get into his ballet scores. An open mind is a great thing--it makes the world a wonderfully infinite place.
  12. May justice be served.
  13. This is a very important subject that is fully deserving of the attention of the entire music community. There are two distinct issues at play: child rape (for consent does not exist for minors) and sexual harassment of "adult" students (often accompanied by coercion and threats to one's future career). Both involve the issue of institutional oversight in addition to faculty comportment. I have had a long career in academia, and I have also observed two of my daughters navigate the snake pit that is elite music school. Both attended Meadowmount as high school students (minors), and at lea
  14. To me, this has nothing to do with album covers, cultural mores, or accuser/accused credibility. It is an absolute failure of institutional oversight--knowingly turning a blind eye to allegations of abuse for fear of damaged reputation. We have seen it with Penn State football, with the US national gymnastics team, with Canadian junior hockey, and with the Catholic church. It is beyond disgusting and should be flatly condemned.