John_London

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  1. John_London

    Galamian Violin Hold

    Zuckerman places the pad inside his jacket over the clavicle. This was recommended by Stern to everyone. Although I posted above generally agreeing, it would unfair to Zuckerman not to mention that he is strongly against the SR and recommends the pad, so he does consider there is difference in the effect on technique between the two.
  2. John_London

    Galamian Violin Hold

    That has to be right, it is a quest for some, and rather a distraction. I happen to prefer the players who don't use SR. I prefer to Repin to Vengerov, Kavakos to Bell, Perlman to Zukerman, and have a taste the older generation such as Rosand and Haendel to the newer. These players have sometimes discouraged use of SR because there is a connection between the signifiicant differences in technique related to using SR or not, and the sound and style they wish to create and teach. For someone who has taken these fine players as models, obviously one hearkens to their guidance, so I personally tend to lean to not using a SR, and once a particular setup is established it is not easy to switch. It is a matter of taste in violin playing whether to make the effort to adjust your technique to using a SR (supposing you are not using one) or to not using it (supposing you are accustomed to a SR), or indeed to determine that the your aims and models point to leaving this aspect unchanged. As you rightly say there is no violation and a quest to ditch a SR is often undertaken without a clear idea which one is trying to achieve, and is therefore pointless unless so directed by a trusted teacher.
  3. John_London

    Galamian Violin Hold

    For those interested in this endlessly controversial topic, the mildly sarcastic comments of Eugene Fodor are amusing:
  4. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    That is one reason I am cautious of violins which create the impression of making good intonation easier. However, it opens the question of what is good intonation: part of it is about getting the instrument to resonate in a pleasing way. That is probably a controversial assertion which belongs in a separate thread.
  5. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Not being much in the company of violinists, I was only offered to try a Strad once (I think long pattern from memory). It did that. Around the same time I had in my hands a new instrument offered at around £5000 at Phelps which did it even better, as though a good intonation was like a magnet all the way up the fingerboard, albeit with less satisfying colour, especially on the G string, than the Strad. The £5000 violin was an overwhelming experience which I never forgot. When I went back to buy it, someone else had got there first. I contacted the maker, who in the early days of the Net was difficult to locate, and told him I had fallen in love with his violin, but I have no way to know whether his other instruments do that. Sometimes I think it was a lucky escape. Maybe a violin which is easier to play nicely is a two-edged sword?
  6. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    If there was a concept beyond that amalgam of skill, passionate artistry, trial and error, and a market for quality which unites Stradivari with many contemporary makers, you are looking for something which could be passed on and could enable Del Gesu, whose symbol may or may not be central to his motivation, using a different personal style, to continue to improve on Stradivari's output. (It is easy to name musicians who owned instruments by both and gravitated towards the DG.).
  7. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Admirable as Dünnwald is, the entire field is based on researching on what is special about Cremonese antique violins. Few of the researchers take an interest in what they are looking for, beyond 'better,' as defined by violinists who give various, sometimes contradictory, reasons for prefering antique Italian violins, and so far have been unable to identify them in the limited blind trials which have take place. The one comment they all make is 'carrying power', which might mean the violin can be heard at the back of the hall, or an impression under the ear that the sound is dispersed and filling the space, or both.
  8. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    There is nothing really in that long and thoughtful post to disagree with, although as a matter of taste I am not sure about the instruments improving music. Personally I'd rather hear an golden-age violinist on a modern instrument, than a modern violinist on a golden-age violin. My taste is of course irrelevant. As far as the public mystique is concerned, it teaches us nothing about the possible superiority of famouns instruments, and yet it is wonderful, and contributes to public enjoyment of the violin and its music. When the CT scanners, 3D printers, materials scientists and acousticians have learned to make a good sonic copy of any famous violon for a few thousand, science will have gained much while the violin world might find it has lost more than it has gained. That does not mean we can give up the quest!
  9. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    What other sound parameters? There is speed of response, evenness across strings, evenness or variety (as you prefer) across registers, tendency to respond or open up with good intonation, tendency to give diferent sound colours readily, and the one that Repin picks out in the video at https://www.thestrad.com/video-violinist-vadim-repin-on-finding-the-perfect-instrument/5817.article where he says 'you cannot tell where the sound is coming from.' Experiencing that effect from a great singer in the opera house, which is the opposite of the prescise audible placement of instruments loved by hi-fi enthusiasts, is thrilling. Which generous luthier will disclose how to achieve in a violin that effect which Repin likes so much in the DG?
  10. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Let us accept the 'no smoke without fire' argument. The preference of contemporary violinists who have to tried enough violins to know, for old Italian violins, is no longer to obvious. The mystique among the non-expert public is not relevant. Among those who have tried a fair sample of valuable instruments opinions vary. (It is up for debate where you include pro-level amateurs, collectors, delaers, orchestral players who are influenced by peer pressure to own an Italian antique.) Some will say there is no substitute for an old Italian. Some will say their favourite violin may have been a Strad, but old Italians are not consistently better than fine contemporary instruments. Quite a few will say, 'I once assumed Strads were better but with age and experience I have grown to believe it is a myth.' Many will be circumspect about what they say publicly, out of respect for friends and colleagues who are in various way invested in valuable instruments. The opinion of the violinists with the widest experience of old and modern instruments is persuasive, although the penumbra of Strad mythology is not. When I start counting the private views of string players who have tried valuable instruments from the small sample of my personal acquaintance, and the small sample of violinists who have made direct, clear and detailed public pronouncements, I am not sure how much smoke there is. Perhaps others here can bring a larger sample of views.
  11. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    About 50 old Italian violins--the great majority of those they examined--establish a reference. It turns out that all the old Italians they tested are most likely to be like the old Italians in the reference sample in respect of the frequency bands at which the frequency response is enhanced; and workshop instruments are less likely to resemble old Italians than master-made instruments, especialy old ones. The argument is circular. On the other hand choosing a reference sampe seems reasonable, if one accepts that most Strads are better than workshop instruments. The results in a sense prove nothing, yet are surely persuasive. A data scientist might have split the old Italians into two roughly equal samples, rather than using c50 out of the 55 tested as a reference sample, which implies a strong presumption that they are better. (I read quickly, so may have misunderstood the German. A translation into English would be useful.)
  12. John_London

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Not AFAIK. I have sent a PM. Not being a native speaker of German, I don't find the language easy. For those who do not read German at all, in the absence of a translation, that particular paper is not directly accessible beyond the figures, tables and abstract.
  13. John_London

    guy trades markie for house

    To watch outisde USA you need to a VPN with an IP address in USA. It is unusual for Antiques Roadshow to broadcast any video where the treasure in the attic is not worth more than its owner expected. They have made the viewers ever more reluctant to believe their junk is not a treasure. Violin appraisers, like lawyers and doctors, must become expert at breaking bad news gently, and Mr. Holmes did magnificently. A friend of mine, being a high-level amateur string player, was asked by a distinguished colleague to take an heirloom violin for valuation, with predictable results. It is difficult for the owner who believed the fraudulent label in his workshop instrument not to blame the messenger, when told the news.
  14. John_London

    Beautiful mystery violin

    Thanks for the quot. The Leduc has the same angled rib joints as the Alard, and although possibly made by DG's wife, also looks inspired. Off-topic of course. The only other thing in common with the present violin is that both have (in my eyes) bags of personality.
  15. John_London

    Nicolaus Amatus fecit in Cremona 1662

    I know it is months old but I had to chuckle. With apologies for the digression to the above new poster, Junisek, who wants attention for a violin, a bit more politically correct chippiness might not harm the Viennese Nor indeed that other great nation of Austro-Hungaria. Bozen in South Tyrol aka Südtirol aka Trentino-Alto Adige was annexed by Italy in 1919 and they attempted to outlaw the indigenous language (German), so calling by its German name Bozen rather than 'Bolzano', which the Fascists sought to insist on, does have an almost sub-conscious political undertone to my politically correct mind.