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Jason Fruit

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  1. My wife is a cellist, and she heard a Theme and Variations in d minor by Sibelius for unaccompanied 'cello. She loves it, and wants to learn it. Unfortunately, as I've tracked it, I've hit nothing but dead ends; its publisher has gone out of business while the work (discovered in 1995) was in preparation, been bought by Warner Brothers, who sold their entire classical division, and been spun off to a Finnish publisher - who says the work is still in preparation. I've tried to contact Thorleif Thedeen, who recorded it, but I can't even figure out what Scandinavian school he's teaching at. Until it may be eventually released, does anyone know anyone who has a prerelease copy or a photostat of the manuscript? It's a really good work. Thanks, Jason Fruit.
  2. In middle school, I remember being told to restring some of the 14" violas with violin strings because we had too many violinists. Surprisingly enough, they were better sounding than the student violins by the same company (they were all 70s Pfretschners).
  3. I've not yet heard Spivakovsky in any small works. I'll have to find some. By the way, I will readily admit that Seidel's Provost Intermezzo was a beautiful and memorable bit of music-making - and in no way lacking personality. Maybe I've just been unlucky enough to catch him in works that weren't suited to what you suggest was his somewhat stubborn personal approach. Sometimes a strong personality trying to contradict itself can be hard to distinguish from a lack of personality.
  4. I agree with Toscha that Seidel had one of the most gorgeous tones ever, and that physically he played the violin beautifully. My main reservation about his playing is that it seems to me to lack character, kind of like Ricardo Odnoposoff; the sound is beautiful, the phrases are sensible, and to my ear everything hangs together just fine, but it lacks a forceful personality to make it live. That's my 2 cents. By the way, Toscha, on the subject of Caprice Viennois, have you heard Shumsky (the father) in his complete Kreisler recording? It's fantastic Kreisler playing, very comfortable and Viennese without drowning in the schmaltz. JF.
  5. It sounds like a joke, but I really experienced it: What's worse than a plastic violin? A plastic violin . . . strung as a viola. Ouch. JF
  6. Simple and clever. I like it! Jason.
  7. Lillian Fuchs plays Bach (and almost everything else) just the way I want to. What a beautiful musician. Jason.
  8. Yes, but have you heard a five-string 'cello? Yecch! Jason.
  9. Michael - Are you willing to expand on your opinions as to what the differences in "the rules" are when it comes to violas? You made a couple tantalizing comments here and on MIMF with regard to that. Jason Fruit.
  10. Does anyone know any good transcriptions of this suite into G-major? I've seen the quite good Giuranna one, but I'm working on doing my own and would like to know what others have done. I'm trying out a five-string viola right now, though, and it's fun to do it in the original key an octave up! Jason Fruit.
  11. This thread inspired me to follow it back. One unbroken line Klara Fenyo Zoltan Szekely Jeno Hubay Henri Vieuxtemps Charles De Beriot Viotti Pugnani Corelli (or, through Pugnani's other teacher, Somis, to Vivaldi.) Or, through another of my teachers: Csaba Erdelyi Yehudi Menuhin Enesco Marsick Leonard Habeneck Baillot Pollani Nardini Tartini. Through other branches, I found Ysaye, Wieniawski, Joachim, David, and Spohr. I probably could have done more with violists if I could figure out who taught Bruno Giuranna and Pal Lukacs. Kind of fun, but fairly meaningless. What did I really learn that came from Pugnani, for example? Still, I may make a few of them up to hand out to my students. . . it could be fun. Put their names at the end. . . maybe even make it a research project. Oh, they'll hate me. Jason Fruit.
  12. As a former sightsinging and ear-training teacher, I can say definitively that singing ability indicates nothing about the ability to hear pitch and relate it to a violin fingerboard. I had a student who got failing scores on all but one of his sightsinging exams, but with his violin in his hand, he was unstoppable. Anything you played to him, he could repeat - anywhere on the fiddle! But he couldn't sing a lick. Speaking of couldn't sing a lick, Earl Scruggs, the founder of real modern bluegrass banjo, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. But you should have heard him on banjo! And Gary Karr, the double-bassist, failed sightsinging - and having heard him, I can guarantee there's NOTHING wrong with his ear. Jason R. Fruit.
  13. If I had my druthers, I'd prefer a large damped room. Large, because small rooms give you an unrealistically powerful impression. Also, small rooms seem to cramp your physical motions. I'd like it well damped, too, because the ring from a more reverberent room conceals imperfections in tone production, vibrato, and bow change. Of course, right now I practice in my wood-floored, bare-walled apartment. Gotta get a carpet. Jason R. Fruit.
  14. I'd advise against the Flesch for quite a while; first off, scales in multiple-stops are not good material to work on if you don't have a fair multiple-stop technique to start with. Second, what they teach wouldn't be as applicable to fiddling as I think you want. Jason R. Fruit.
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