flaco

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About flaco

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  1. I read this article too. It's interesting.
  2. flaco

    Intonation

    Did they do that experiment with a computer?
  3. Oh, and I don't play violin anymore, only viola. I used to feel ringing in my left ear occasionally after playing violin. Now the left ear is ok but my right ear gets hit hard by blaring brass and percussion instruments, much louder and worse on my ears than any sound I make from my viola. I generally played both instruments facing the scroll. The problem with wearing earplugs is that I can't hear what I'm doing anymore; I could be really out of tune or be playing with terrible sound/bowstrokes and I wouldn't know it. Maybe I need to try the custom made and fitted kind. They are made from some special material that claims to only block the highest db levels and highest frequencies. I don't know how this is possible but I know people who say they work. BTW, neither Heifetz nor Zukerman ever used a shoulder rest.
  4. Yes, a violin projects best in the direction the f-holes are facing. A double bass projects behind itself almost as well is in front of itself.
  5. In my experience, the rotation of the head makes a huge difference to the amount of sound hitting the left ear. With the head facing forward, not only is the left ear closer to the f-holes, but is also almost in a direct line of them. When facing the violin/viola the few inches help, but now neither ear is in the direct line of the f's. It can work technically to play either way, without sacrificing posture. If the few inches don't make a difference why do you think that people are only complaining about their left ears? Not the right ear. I know higher frequencies (A and E strings) move in a more direct line while lower ones move in more of a circular pattern.
  6. Sorry about your misadventure. I would have put it on consignment at a shop and at least tried to get my money back on it. An unknown English violin from the mid 1800's selling retail for 6 large is not unreasonable.
  7. Totally irrelevent to this discussion, but many musicians often use the words portato and portamento as if they are interchangable. They are NOT. Portato is multiple notes played in a single bow with slight separation between them. Portamento is a glissando. Many people use the word portamento when they really mean portato. This drives me &%*#'n crazy! I've heard world famous conductors and some of the most successful string teachers misuse the word portamento over the years.
  8. Some people hold the instrument and position their head in such a way that the left ear takes more of a beating than it needs to. By this, I mean instrument to the left and head forward; so the left ear is a couple inches away from the f-holes and the right ear is 180 degrees around your head from them. Pinchas Zukerman generally plays in this position. Many violists use this position too, more than violinists. But violas are usually softer than violins. If you're worried about hearing loss it might be better to turn your head so that you are facing the instrument, nose pointing to scroll. Heifetz played in this position. An instrument with a bit of cushion to the sound or softer strings can help with the up-close loudness factor too. I still think the risks of playing violin or viola regarding hearing loss is nothing compared to going clubbing or to love rock concerts regularly. I don't remember the exact numbers, but your average R&B or hip-hop club was much, much louder than a violin.
  9. quote: Originally posted by: Christopher Reuning Most would say that a Viola should be priced somewhat more than a violin. I think violas are priced more than corresponding violins because violas have a more beautiful, richer, darker, sound. Wouldn't you agree?
  10. I'm sorry if this is obvious to some of you. I haven't experimented much with it. I've heard from some people that it does. For comfort reasons, I like to have my chinrest quite far to the left of the tailpiece. I had heard that it is better if the chinrest is in the middle clamped over the two sides of the tailpiece. Also, can the material of the chinrest affect sound? Does it depend on the instrument? Oh yeah, does the tailpiece material affect sound too?
  11. This has been interesting, too many posts to read everything though! I think both sides of the argument have their merits. I agree with those who think that the finest Cremonese instruments remain unsurpassed with regards to tonal beauty. But I also think that a good modern violin can sound better than many old Italian violins (that aren't examples of great Cremonese), and is often a good alternative, as anything old and Italian has a much heavier price tag. There are so many violins in the 50-200k price range that don't sound as nice (to my ears) as a good modern violin. In the case of many old Italian violins, I don't think they're even differentiable as being "Italian" in sound or as sounding special, when compared to a good modern violin. I even wonder why someone spent so much money for it in the case of the crassest violins. Of course there are other great Italian instruments that aren't Cremonese that are at the top of the spectrum too. Tetzlaff is a fabulous violinist and musician. In my opinion, it's not his beautiful sound so much as his sense of style and creativity that make his performances great. I heard Vengerov once and correctly guessed that he wasn't using his Strad that day. I also heard YoYo playing a modern cello and it sounded good because it was YoYo, but considerably less beautiful and personal than either of his great cellos. I have never tried an instrument by either Mr. Burgess or Mr. Darnton but I've heard very good things about both of them. It's nice to see two qualified people take opposite views on this.
  12. I don't know why you guys give Josh Bell such negative reviews. His repertoire is enormous, he's very good at most styles, chamber music, sonatas. I don't think you could say that about most concert violinists. I've heard him several times in big halls and never thought he had a small sound, maybe he used to when he played on that guitar shaped violin. He got a different one a few years ago and I think it sounds much richer. Bell also varies his vibrato throughout his phrases and has a very unique and expressive way of feeling rhythm (not bad rhythm, just creative). I actually think this makes him very unique. He has a cd from the 90's of three French sonatas with Thibaudet; Franck, Faure, and Debussy. Just beautiful, probably the best I've heard those pieces. Somebody mentioned Kogan as an old-schooler that was unique. I couldn't disagree more. For my ears, he is a machine, an amazing one no doubt. But there is no character, no variety, it's all the same. Bowstrokes all the same, vibrato always the same, that same Russian school vitality on every note without the imagination that Heifetz or Oistrakh had, rhythm very straightforward and square, but technically as solid as it gets. I think the best musicians today as well as in the past are unique and special. The ones from the past that were indistiguishable probably were forgotten, for the most part. And probably some of the less original players of the current time will also be forgotten.
  13. You don't think that Mr. Cao was taking steroids, do you? That would be so unfair!
  14. Del Gesu received a citation for driving 50 in a 35, but he did NOT go to jail for this offense.
  15. wow, 466 is now above $60,000!