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brontosaurous

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  1. I think one of the best players around has got to be Boris Belkin. I understand he performs mainly in Europe, Asia and Australia - and is therefore not quite as well known in the US - but every time he has played, he has never ceased to amaze me. There is a sense of electricity when Belkin plays, unmatched by any other I have heard in the flesh. He once played in Sydney not long after Salvatore Accardo, and the difference in styles was rather apparent. Accardo was considerably more academic and pedestrian. Belkin's intensity and fire literally brought the house down. His whole-hearted approach to music-making is perfect for most of the mainstream concerto repertoire, and to me, that is what sets him apart from other soloists. He somehow manages to captivate the audience and bring the entire hall into the experience. Without a shadow of a doubt, Boris Belkin is a terrific violinist who definitely deserves far more mention on the internet! Incidentally, he also happens to be the teacher of a couple of today's finest young players, including Janine Jansen and Kyoko Yonemoto.
  2. Hi all, I've just put a Luxline D on my fiddle in the last couple of days. It's quite a powerful sounding string, with wonderful resonance and good projection. The only problem is its texture. Due to its construction (wire embedded within the gut - as opposed to the demi filee strings which have wire open would over the gut), it has a slightly uneven texture which one can definitely feel when shifting. Didn't realise the thing wasn't going to be perfectly cylindrical when ordering! Just wondering if others out there have tried "textured" strings like the Luxline, and if texture in a string is something that people feel they can live with. Thus far, I must say I'm enjoying all of Bernd Kurschner's strings (the others being a wound gut G and a plain gut A), even the Luxline D. They sound very good indeed. Much better than the Pirastro Chorda line, which was my previous attempt at switching to plain gut. Would be interesting to hear what others think about the texture issue. I might get more strings from Bernd soon, as I need to stock up before a competition in Nov/Dec. Am torn between getting more of the same, or switching to a plain gut or high-twist gut D instead. Cheers, Keith
  3. Hi all, I was hoping to hear your thoughts on a query I have re repertoire for a competition. When given the task of choosing an hour's worth of repertoire for a competition recital, would it be dated to choose a lyrical and expressive virtuoso work (say, something like the Wieniawski Legende)? I suppose I ought to add that the rest of the program has its fair share of technical elements. It was common for soloists of yesteryear to play such lyrical showpieces in recital; but I also realise that the focus of recital showpieces seems to have shifted in recent years to the more technical works (rather unfortunately, in my opinion). One seldom hears pieces that centre on the virtuoso's rich and sonorous tone anymore, and that is something I would like to show to the audience. Penny for your thoughts. Thanks in advance. Cheers!
  4. Thought I'd start a thread on people's thoughts on the latest Tarisio auction. Some of the offerings do look exciting, especially the Italian fiddles that are within the more affordable price brackets. Also, how are quality descriptors such as "good" and "fine" determined? The Tarisio site says they're pegged to their experts' opinions on quality of craftsmanship and materials; does this consequently mean violins that are tagged as such are likely to have better tonal qualities? Just curious questions from a faraway offshore observer...
  5. Just to rehash an old thread. Interesting advice re the olive oil over the fingerboard area. Wouldn't that make the string, well, oily though? Do you have to dry it off after you rub the oil on? Please elaborate on the process, if convenient. Thanks!
  6. Oh okay, thanks for the clarification. Well, I've gone off and ordered Kurschner strings instead. They're quite clear about what's lighter than what, etc., so it was easy. I was just wondering what people do with spare sets of gut strings around? I know it's not ideal to keep gut strings lying around for too long, but say you do have to keep a spare set in hand, what's the best way to preserve its quality and life expectancy? Cheers!
  7. Hi all, I've just forgotten how gut string gauges work, and was hoping someone could lend some help. The light/thin gauges have the higher guage number, right (i.e. a 17.25 gauge Eudoxa D stiff is lighter/thinner than a 16.5 gauge Eudoxa D stiff)? Thanks in advance. Cheers!
  8. In my experience, Ryno, the Vision Titaniums are much brighter than Zyex.
  9. Yes, I agree. It seems, certainly from the results of recent competitions, that the best Chinese makers are truly coming to the fore somewhat. I don't think you'll see an international violinmaking competition these days in which there isn't a Chinese name up there in the latter rounds. It's quite heartening. Does anyone know how much they tend to charge? Someone once mentioned that Zheng Quan charges lots for his personal instruments. There are, evidently, other very good makers there though. Are they also rather expensive?
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