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Everything posted by derbratche

  1. Quote: Here's a more radical view to which I adhere. Even as someone who spends a good part of the week with a viola stuck under my chin, I am firmly convinced that (despite a number of extraordinarilly gifted artists playing on the very finest instruments) 1) the viola is an acoustical failure by comparison with its siblings. 2) there is nothing in its range that cannot be more beautifully played on either a violin or cello. 3) the viola shouldn't be used as a solo instrument, except on the rarest of occasions, for some special effect. 4) it's intrinsic value and purpose is to mesh the inner harmonic lines and fabric of an orchestral or ensemble sound - and that it does superbly well. Hmm.... 1. I agree that the viola is an acoustic failure. It is for this reason that violin makers over the years have tried to produce larger instruments that can produce the optimum sound needed for its range. 2. the viola has a unique sound, because of its acoustic deficiencies, and, as a general term, it can be classed as a "viola sound," only because it is not a violin and not a cello. I would say that in general, there is a lot more variation in "viola sounds" than in "violin sounds," and most violin makers will tell you that viola players are fussier than violin players when it comes to choosing an instrument, and they are looking for a specific sound. SO... to say that "there is nothing in its range that cannot be more beautifully played on either a violin or cello" doesn't make sense to me, because the viola has a very different sound, and violas have very different sounds to other violas and the same could be said about a bass, cello or violin, in comparision to a viola. 3. Bashmet has had over 40 concertos dedicated to him, and those composers would disagree with this statement, as do I. Anyway, what are we supposed to play, then???? 4. "it's intrinsic value and purpose is to mesh the inner harmonic lines and fabric of an orchestral or ensemble sound - and that it does superbly well" agree, and some of the inner part writing throughout history is beautiful, but if the violin and cello can have solo pieces written to suit their particular qualities, why can't the viola? I respect your comments and views, Omobono, but I do disagree with some of them. Your's is not a "radical" view, as it is in fact, the views that musicians have held on our instrument for centruries. Things are changing now. It is in the last century or so that we have seen great developments in new viola literature, which means that opinions and feelings towards the viola are changing. P>S Yeah, Zuckerman is wonderful on both.
  2. I'm warning you all in advance; Beecham was a fuuny man and has said many funny things over the years, but the following statement takes the cake: [To a female cellist in an orchestra, who was apparently playing with un-desirable tone] "Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it!" and Michael Darnton has my permission to take this post off if he or others find it too crass - but I found it funny. Very funny. I did warn you. P>S Quoted from Barry Green's "The Mastery of Music," which I insist all of you read some day.
  3. Aha!! Beware! There are some forged Mozart concertos on the loose. One of them, I don't remember which one exactly, is titled "Adelaide" and is a down and out forgery by the french viola d'amore player, Henri Casadesus. But, I agree, concertos 1 + 2 are my favourites! I'm sick of 4 and 5 at the moment as they are over played. Three is also nice, but 1 and 2 win hands down. # 1 has an alternate finale, an seemingly "unatached" rondo in Bb, but I quite like the original last movement. My fav recording is Monica Hugget with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, on Virgin, which also includes the Rondo in Bb and the Adagio in E - the substitute middle movement for #5 - on period instruments, of course, and with harpsichord on the bass line, which is wonderful. (and if your clever with your CD player, you can program it to play the alternate tracks!) glad you brought this one up, vi01in
  4. Quote: on a viola of 16" or more I don't think it's really possible to play most of the caprices Too true!!!! But i try to play paganini, and the IMC edtion I use hasn't done that bad a job at being sensitive to the need of violists (expect the 18th, which is written entrirely in bass clef and 5 and 12 amongst others written all in treble) But on the subject: It's wonderful to see that this has generated soo much interest!! I actually play with a lot of people in the viola sections in my orchestras that are viola converts, and one girl is even going to major in viola after playing violin for over 15 years. I'm so happy that the viola is on the rise. But, thanks to all of you for those tips on violin and viola practise - i am a viola player, and as much as i love the viola, i know skills on the violin will come in handy. Any other comments are most welcome. Keep 'em comming!! Nick P>S Tenths on viola are too hard, painful and stupid. You are likely to injure yourself and I don't bother with them.
  5. Just thought i'd raise this one.... I'm playing in a string quartet for a wedding on saturday, and as you would expect, they've asked for the Pachelbel Canon - so we're playing it. I'm a viola player, and there's no way i'm going to stick out like a saw thumb playing 3rd violin on a viola, so I've "stolen" a violin to play it on, as i don't own one (hmm, yet). I practised most of the day today; started off on viola, and then picked up the violin. I was shocked. Playing such a "tiny" instrument was almost effortless!! Double stops were easy and i'd never played the 14th Pag caprice so in tune! Amazing!! I don't play a huge viola (16"), but have played an instrument that size for most of my short life (i never played violin first - and you could say this is my first violin gig) Some of you out there must play both vln and vla regularly - any tips? ie. which to practise? what to practise on which instrument? how not to stuff up your intonation on either instrument (i'm having a little trouble adjusting to the smaller spacing)? many thanks, nick P>S Pag caprices on viola are really nasty!
  6. my violin teacher decided to start taking cello lessons, and plays quite well - she said it was all to do with making suttle changes to your violin technique (hopefully no cellists here will electronically bash my head in for that comment!) Perhaps the easy/ier suzuki cello method books are a good starting point. bratche
  7. It sure is revealling and a great help, and I can't practise without one. I think you have to be careful, however, because when I prepare for exams, because I'm so used to LOOKING for problems and why things might be out of tune, I stop listening - and in an exam you don't have a mirror. Use the mirror, but also try to hear the difference between effective and not-so-effective ways of doing things. bratche
  8. Honestly, if you are comfortable on a 4/4 size violin and you like your instrument, stay with it. I've been told, that in examinations, it's not really how you do it (technique) by what you sound like. If you can do octaves, even if you look funny or don't do them technically wrong, or whatverer, but it still works for you and no complications result out of this, then don't change a thing. You only change your technique when you can't do something correctly or in-tune enough. If you and your teacher are happy with your 8ve, then don't change the violin. I know that with violas, a smaller instrument generally means a less "gutsy" sound and even if I play on somebody elses viola which is the same size as mine, I still have to adjust. Playing on a violin that I'm not used to - I play horribly, as with playing on smaller violas. Yes - you will have to adjust a few things - but this is normal for everyone on new or unfamiliar instruments. The only other reason for a change, would be if you experiance phisical pain. If a 4/4 size violin is too heavy or too uncomfortable to hold, go smaller. If it looks like you're going to develop RSI then change your instrument. Also, yes, cases and bows would probably be a bit shorter. Really, I don't see what such a small difference in size would do for you, but all you can do is go and try a few instruments, and see what's out there and If you like anything. I don't know how old you are, but if there's a chance you'll grow, keep that in mind too! good luck, Nick
  9. Werner Icking Music Archive: http://icking-music-archive.sunsite.dk
  10. ooooooooh! yummy! Bartok! I like it a lot!
  11. "Kiss" just did a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, here in Australia, just a few months ago. Apparently, it was televised all over the world. They dressed up a few members with the black and white make-up! I didn't go, but people have told me it was good.
  12. Hi guys, interesting topic and i'm glad that the thread was posted I'm reminded of the time when I went for my grade 5 exam, a few years ago ('twas fun - i did the telemann viola concerto in g!) and got an 'A' in the end, but came out of the exam thinking that I did everything badly and that she was going to give me a 'D' (the lowest grade they award in Australia) instead. It was awful: I stuffed up scales, stopped about four times in the middle of my study, played badly out of tune in my pieces and sight-read horribly. I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet, but people tell me that I have and have always had a high level of musicianship, and interpret works in a pleasing fasion, and this is what my teacher and I concluded on as to the reason why I got such a good mark when I played so badly. Back then, my technique was terrible (as in, worse than it is now ) and I was depressed for weeks after my exam, until I got the result. My teacher thought (and I agreed) that I did not deserve the 'A' and to this day I feel guilty every time I read the report from the examiner. I feel that both general musicianship and technique are important in a player, and I will never feel adequate as a violist until my technique is at the same standard as my musicianship. What i'm trying to say is that you've got to be a well balanced player. Being a well balanced player makes a good player. a bit of a boring personal recount, but i think it ties in here quite well. In a competition, it's really a judge's personal taste and what they themselves value most in a player. You can argue about the end result, but it's their decision, and as competitors/spectators we should learn to accept it and be "good sports". P.S> Is there such a thing as being "technically perfect" anyway?
  13. I was going to suggest "Come ye Sons of Art" by Henry Purcell (2 tpts, 2 obs + Strings) which I did last year, and was fairly easy (I sang the bass solos in it) but this Lux Aeterna sounds really cool. I must check it out! Nick
  14. Played the Farandole a few years ago, when my school orchestra was at the hight of its powers. 'twas fun. Did a little concert featuring this and Marche au Supplice (sp??) - March to the scaffold by Berlioz, mainly because we had the timpani players! Farandole wasn't hard at all. Like I said, good fun, though. Nick
  15. Bach's Art of the Fugue works well for either string trio or quartet. Nick
  16. It doesn't surprise me. It's not likely that your'e installing it incorrectly. You might need to look at forking out a few thousand dollars to buy yourself a electric violin (yamaha, barcus berry for eg.), that you can just turn down, or plug headphones into. I don't know what to suggest if that's not an option. Sorry. There have been threads posted by people with similar problems over the past year or so - you might like to conduct a few searches. Nick
  17. There are still a few un-answered questions, so here i go... 1. If the cadenza is not writtten out, I personally, like to make one up on the spot. It's so wonderfully spontaneous. Each time a play a concerto, i experiment with different cadenzas. It depends on who you are as to whether or not you write your own cadenza nowdays. Most baroque composers didn't, but classical composers (ie. as in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante above mentioned) did. 2. I thinks it's true that music teachers place a lot less emphasis on improvisation and composition. Though, one would generally attend separate classes on these, it would make sense to explore it a litte in violin lessons. I don't go through it with my teacher, but I dabble in composition (badly) anyway. I love nothing more than to improvise, though. Back in the baroque period, musicians had a less-specific knowledge of music. One person often was a performer, a composer and an instrument maker all at the one time! Nick
  18. Sprite, if I'm not mistaken, you are playing from the version on Mutopia. (http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/Mutopia/index.html for anybody else who wants it) Perhaps the reason for this lack of dynamics could be the fact that after pages one and two, it's prettey much all solo stuff. I dunno. Dynamics come back in the last movement though. I don't know what's accurate, I've never seen the manuscript score. Its hard to play authentically today, because we don't know exactly how a soloist in the 18th century would have played it. Keep in mind that terraced dynamics (ie contrasts b/w piano and forte) are typical of the period - though most people today, don't really stick with this. Hey, it's Bach and open to interpretation. He won't turn in his grave if you do it a bit differently. Nick
  19. This is a topic that interests me greatly. Cadenzas certainly were around during the baroque period. It's interesting, ConcertA, b/c in Vivaldi's op8 violin concerti, the same opus as the four seasons, concerto no.5 in Eb major, La Tempesta di Mare or the storm at sea, calls for the soloist to do a cadenza. It is NOT written out. there's the part for this concerto at: http://www.ccarh.org/publications/scores/vivaldi/op8/ if anybody wants to have a sticky beak. Handel wrote cadenzas, so did Bach, and not always for violin. In Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no 5, in D, which is quite possibly the first composition that used a keyboard as a soloist, ie the first keyboard concerto ever, there is quite an amazingly HUGE cadenza, that Bach wrote out, that is the most wonderfull cadenza ever written, in my opinion. It's true, the cadenza stems out of the cadence, for in another Brandenburg concerto, this time no. 3 in G, the middle movement consists of two chords, and nothing else. When people perform this work today, the harpsichordist generally improvises something, and the strings join in for the final two chords, before the third movement begins. Most, if not all classical concertos have a cadenza, that is based on the themes that have just gone before it. If we take the Sinfonia Concertante in Eb for violin and viola, both soloists are involved in the cadenza. This one that Mozart wrote out, also is most wonderful. Alternative cadenzas have been written out too. Even modern works have cadenzas! I'm playing the viola concerto of an Australian composer, by the name of Colin Brumby (check him out at http://www.amcoz.com.au/comp/b/cbrumby.htm) at the moment, and the third movement, starts with an orchestral intro and then I play a cadenza-type-thing, before the rest of the movement gets under way. And there you have it, a historical journey into the cadenza, presented by a stupid viola player! Nick
  20. When I was shopping around for a new instrument, I came across a wonderful viola, took it home, then freaked out when the C peg would not stay in the position I left it in. I rang the guy back, and he told me to use CHALK. As in phisically take off the string apply chalk to it then re-string it. If you don't have chalk, like I didn't, use a household cleaning agent that leaves a chalky residue. Also, make sure you are pushing the peg IN as you turn it. let's hope that this works.... Nick
  21. hi pag, interesting query. my first thought was that the work has fallen out of print, but then i saw this: http://www.naxos.com/CAT/550907.HTM do you want to perform it or is it for research? people who specifically study the concertos of vivaldi might have some clue. Maybe even orchestra librarians might be able to find a copy. it must exist - it's just gotta be out there somewhere... ¡buena suerte! nick
  22. derbratche


    I'm a baroque music freak but am starting to get into this twentieth century thing. Shoenberg, Shnittke and Stravinsky, Kancheli and Cage, Glass and Gubaidulina - it's just so intellectual and emotionally complex. I love it!
  23. Hey, that's just great! I cheer internally every time somebody says they want to be a professional musician or even do a degree - it reminds me that i'm not the only crazy one! From what ive gathered about my future carrer, i can say that it's never too late. There's a guy, over here in Australia playing viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (they're our best orchestra who did a US tour last year) and he only stated playing viola at the age of seventeen, took a few years off to study and then auditioned for his current job. I was amazed when I heard about this. The other thing is that it's a very competitive field. You need to be the best, and to be the best you need to be comitted, and that means practising your four octave G# major scales slurred two octaves to a bow all the time. Don't let a second escape you! I don't mean to frighten you by all of this, but you sound like you're ready for all of it. You're doing your research, which is great, but don't forget to practise efficiently. That's what's gonna get you there. I really hope you make it, if thats what you wanna do. I'm more than happy to share/dicuss any other thoughts/concerns via PM. You have all of my prayers, best wishes and support. Nick
  24. Is it fuzzy or does it buzz?? If it's fuzzy it might be the guage of the string but, (and I hate to be a saddist) if its more of a buzz it could be an open seam or crack in your instrument. Take it to your luthier. They'll sort it out. Nick
  25. i can't give adivice as i've never studied it, nor do i have a copy of it, but try finding another edition and having a look. It may become clearer then. Nick
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