Michael Appleman

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About Michael Appleman

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    Violin Nerd

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  1. Many of the great violinists through history have been left-handed: Heifetz, Kreisler, Joseph Silverstein...just to name a few. It may actually be an advantage!
  2. I thought I'd mention that in the end, we're all "playing by ear," whether we got our "mental recording" from listening to others, or from reading written music. In the end, most "classical musicians" are "learning by ear" by listening to Heifetz/Oistrakh/Perlman/Hahn/etc. etc. They may not be learning the notes that way, but they are "mentally recording" tone, dynamics, phrasing, articulation, rubato...all those essential things one can't put on a printed page of music.
  3. 1666 would be the earliest of Strads, but it would have been "high season" for the Amati shop, and this violin seems to take most of its cues from the Amati style, even if it was stretched out to 362mm. Pierray did that sort of thing as well, 362mm lob with an Amati inspired model.
  4. Garth, you might want to post this over on the "Fingerboard" forum, since the "Pegbox" is the violinmaking part of Maestronet. If I can chip in my point of view, though, it all depends what you want to do. If you want to "jam" with friends in a "classical style," of course, why not? If you want to play Mozart string quartets with your friends, I imagine it's totally possible to learn your part "by ear," but that would be a bit like learning a role in a play by memorizing the sounds of the words, without really understanding what you are saying and how your lines interact with the other characters. It might actually work ok, and might even sound decent, but you'd be frankly missing a whole lot of enjoyment by not being able to read and understand the score. Playing a "little classical violin" is a bit hard for me to understand. What's really interesting to me is being able to tap into centuries worth of musical tradition, that has been handed down to us because of the amazing and unique fact that a system of notation was developped in Europe starting in the Middle Ages and that has been able to document some of the most beautiful and moving musical ideas that great artists have had through the ages. One doesn't have to be a musicologist or a professional musician to appreciate the genius of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven et. al., far from it, but I feel that the more one puts into trying to understand it better, the more one gets out of it, and learning to read music is really not that tough!
  5. There are good, serious violin shops in just about every corner of the UK. There is no need to rely on Ebay or the internet to trial an instrument.
  6. No, this is not better. Go to a violin shop, please! As a violin teacher with 40+ years of experience, I beseech you, please don't oblige your poor daughter to play on junkshop dregs like this!
  7. I'm curious what the "enclave" participants think, but I think I'm seeing a replaced MNK neck/scroll on a en English body, something Lockey Hill-ish, though I don't have a lot of experience with that type of fiddle.
  8. A spare set of strings is always a good idea, though...
  9. Golden Strad=Ferrari GTO Amatese Strad=Triumph TR3, still a lot of fun... Come to think of it, maybe a FIAT Dino would be a better analogy for an Amatese Strad...
  10. You make an interesting point, Rue. For going to work, going shopping, getting around town, a Pinto is probably a better tool than a Bugatti, a Ferrari etc. For driving for pleasure around mountain passes, country back roads, track days, one would have a lot more fun doing it in a classic or exotic sports car than a compact commuter car. I have an exotic, classic motorcycle up here at my country house, and I take it out early in the morning and romp around the deserted country roads, imagining that I'm racing the Isle of Man TT, even if in reality I'm not nearly as good a rider as my heroes of racing lore, and I'm not really going that fast, but I have a blast. So what is the analogy with a violin? Playing a concerto all alone, or playing chamber music with friends when one isn't a professional trying to earn a living, seems to me a bit like my Sunday morning "TT" rides. Is there a violin equivalent of getting to work or running errands?
  11. Actually, I think a Yugo is a notch above a Pinto (having worked on both over the years...) and a Royale is a chauffeur driven limousine, while an Atalante is a high performance sports coupé...though I guess these days most Strad owners do loan out their prize posessions to players rather than "drive" them themselves...
  12. Hermann Walecki shows up as having owned the "Bass of Spain" cello! That cello was later restored in an epic way by Weisshaar that got a big write up in the Strad. Interesting intersections...
  13. Pretty label, but I'm afraid the violin is as far from a Stradivarius as a Ford Pinto is from a Bugatti Atalanta...
  14. Very interesting, Jacob. Thanks for posting. I have intimately known a violin with a similar label, around the same date, I believe, that while built on a mold in the southern German/viennese style, is nothing at all like this violin for the model, being much more a "Golden Stradivari" inspired model closer to the Geissenhoff style than the "Long Strad-ish" Buchstetter/Thumhardt style. It reminded me more of the Veit Anton Widhalms I've seen since, actually. I used that violin for a bit some 35 plus years ago, after which it was my brother's "pit" fiddle at the Metropolitan Opera for a number of years. It was one of the reasons I was always on the lookout for another Regensburg violin. I think my brother might still have that violin in NY. I'll have to check with him and see if he can take some photos of it. You say that Joseph Fischers are rather rare, so I imagine you haven't had too many file through your shop, but might he have been labelling the work of others as you suggest Engleder in Munich was doing with Thumhardt? Could he have been selling V.A. Widhalms or Thumhardts?