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Everything posted by Toscha

  1. Which recordings of Menuhin do you have? He has recorded 4 times (3 in studio, plus one live recording). If you don't have the one with Monteux (1934), you are really missing something! A few others deserve mentioning. Francescatti/Ormandy is dashingly elegant. Szeryng/Gibson is robust and hearty. Kogan, Michael Rabin and Alexander Markov also made fine recordings. But my favorite is Gitlis/Wislocki. He plays like a reincarnation of devil (with more than bit of gypsy flavor). T.
  2. I have never believed that there is such a thing as a "best interpretation" since it is purely dependent on a personal taste. So, here are my "favorite" recordings of the works. Beethoven: Kreisler/Blech, Menuhin/Furtwangler/Lucerne Festival (1947), Wolfsthal, Huberman, Szeryng/Haitink (1973) Brahms: Kreisler/Blech, Menuhin/Kempe (the one with Furtwangler is also formidable, but current CD transfer is not good at all, so I prefer the Kempe version for now), Szeryng/Monteux, Martzy/Kletzki, Hahn, Frank Peter Zimmermann Mendelssohn: Kreisler/Blech, Menuhin/Furtwangler, Grumiaux/Haitink, Heifetz/Toscanini (1944, live recording), Wolfsthal Paganini (by the way, which one? I am asuming that you mean the first concerto, since Francescatti recorded only the first concerto): Ivry Gitlis, Menuhin/Monteux (1934) Sibelius: Heifetz/Hendl, Gitlis, Spivakovsky Tchaikovsky: Heifetz/Barbirolli, Prihoda, Huberman, Elman/Barbirolli T.
  3. PLEASE!! HEIFETZ not Heifitz!!!! Don't you know how to spell one of the greatest (I personally think THE greatest) violinist of the last century??? And another thing. What specific aspects of violin playing do you find Hahn does more effortlessly than Heifetz? As much as I love Hahn's playing (in fact, I am looking forward to hear her recital at the end of the month), I simply cannot think of one aspect of violin playing that Hahn does BETTER than Heifetz. In fact, certain coloristic nuances of violin playing that Heifetz did have NOT been matched by anybody I have heard ever since (and I have heard MANY, both in person and in recordings). Both of them are great violinists, but they are also very different players and putting down one in favor of the other shows disrespect for their violin playings. I am also a staunch defender of the historical recordings and films. I feel that we are EXTREMELY fortunate to have documents of great, departed musicians of the past. Do we prefer digital photos over Rembrandt or Renoir because they are "realistic"? I think not..... A healthy acknowledgement of historical recordings are seriously needed here.... T. P.S. I do like Hahn's playing. She IS one of my favorite violinist of today.
  4. Quote: Depends on who you are teaching and what their aspirations are. I think you could feel free to do it unless the student is very advanced, has potential to become very advanced at a young enough age, or is contemplating majoring in university on the instrument. It is always possible to send them on to someone else when you feel you are beginning to limit them. Very well said! Could not agree more. It would be DISHONEST to teach advanced students unless one has experience at that level. What's the rush? Get some good experiences on viola FIRST, then you can probably teach advanced students, considering the long experience on violin. But not till then.... T.
  5. Quote: I hope the year of solid instruction includes teaching him to FLUENTLY read music. I absolutely agree. I just simply cannot stand the idea of someone who could barely read the music or play the instrument teaching even elementary school students. Could one imagine someone who could barely read or write English teaching an English class effectively? I certainly don't, and would never want to study with someone like that. Music instructions really should be the same. So, I would suggest him a different career and enjoy the music as a hobby, unless he can MASTER the double-bass COMPETENTLY. Teaching career is a serious profession. It SHOULD be taken seriously. T.
  6. If the sound is an issue, then I would go with Szell/Cleveland. Orchestral playing is superb and interpretation is well-balanced without being too middle-of-the-road (there are plenty of fire and sparkle in the performance). I find the Karajan (to start with, WHICH ONE? He recorded quite a few times) to be rather superficial, even though it is very well played (this is based on his 1962 recording). If the sound is not an issue, then I would go with Furtwangler/Bayreuth Festival (1951). It is one of the better sounding version made by this conductor (there are some earlier, war-time recordings that are more volatile, but the recorded sound may take getting used to) without sacrificing any of his distinctive characteristics. It is a huge-scaled, powerful performance that has almost never been equalled, except for the quality of recorded sound and sheer instrumental clarity. T.
  7. I would let the pinky of the right hand go as approaching the tip of the bow, and ring finger taking the position of the pinky, as Heifetz and Elman used to do from time to time. The main thing is to keep the bow as parallel to the bridge as you can at the tip and the try to relax your right hand. You will likely to fall into this position. For the next up-bow, the pinky should come back on to the bow somewhere in the upper half of the bow, depending on your arm-length. This way, you can gain almost an extra inch or so at the tip without straining. As for the position of the violin, it should be flexible. For E string, the violin should move slightly more to the left, and for G string, to the right. Ideally, one should playing without shoulder rest to be able to do this, but if necessary, get a pad that will NOT lock the violin in one position. For further information, watch some videos of Heifetz! T.
  8. Trill exercises mentioned above is very good. I would also play two octave scales on one string using 3-4 (ascending), 4-3 (descending). You can do chromatic scales using the same fingering on one string. All should be done with metronome, starting very slowly, then gradually faster. I would also play the same two octave-one string scales using just 4th finger as well. Also, don't forget to practice scales in thirds and octave (both 1-4 and fingered). As for piece, Schubert-Wilhelmj "Ave Maria" may be a good choice since you have to play octaves and other double-stops with vibrato in the second half of the piece. If you are up to it, Paganini's 17th caprice and an octave passage of the Ernst concerto (towards the end) can be quite good also. Just make sure to practice SLOWLY with relaxed hand as much as possible!! Any piece that has extensive passages in 3rds or octaves will do, frankly. Happy Practicing! T.
  9. Quote: Is Robert Gerle's recording available in an archive CD yet? I wince at the thought that the third movement has to be played faster to be better. As far as I know, it has not been transferred to CD yet. As for the speed, Hahn is probably the fastest (among the recordings I have), though "faster the better" thing never really interests me much, no matter what the piece is. I feel that it is a sort of musical immaturity. I am far more interested in what musicians do in their respective tempi. Heifetz and Toscanini for example, tended to prefer faster tempi than others, but what they were capable of doing musically within their tempi were astonishing. Back to Barber. My favorite is still the old Louis Kaufman recording. He plays (and I feel quite rightly so!) as if this was written by Korngold. He treats the concerto as a lush, late-Romantic concerto. His "singing" violin never fails to impress me, and his superbly applied glissandi are simply gorgeous to listen to. T.
  10. For me, great performances will make me cry, not the music themselves, combined with particular moods I happen to be in. T.
  11. George Enescu, Sergei Bortkiewicz, Leopold Godowsky, Reynaldo Hahn, Guillaume Lekeu, Franz Schmidt and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. T.
  12. Quote: What do you start with? Any ideas on how to "make time" or motivate yourself to use time you might otherwise feel like being a couch potato? I would start with scales. Regular single notes with metronome, then thirds, sixths, octaves (1-4 and fingered), tenths and harmonics. Then 3 or 4 octave arpeggios in all keys. As for avoiding to be a couch-potato, use a timer on the video deck. After you finish practicing, then watch whatever you would like. T.
  13. I would NOT limit yourself to living violinists. You will be missing so many great violinistic personalities that you will not believe. Off top of my head, you will be missing Kreisler, Huberman, Ysaye, Heifetz, Thibaud, Enescu, Elman, Prihoda, Sammons, Seidel, Rabinof, Milstein, Menuhin, Ferras, Francescatti, Oistrakh, Grumiaux, Szeryng, Martzy, Spivakovsky, Kogan, Goldberg, etc..... well, you get the point, I hope. Among the living ones, the ones you should not miss are Ivry Gitlis (has one of the most spellbinding sound these ears have heard, along with Kreisler and Heifetz), Ruggiero Ricci (his recordings between 1938 to about 1970s are phenominal), Alexander Markov, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Hilary Hahn and Roby Lakatos (I nicknamed him "Gypsy-Heifetz"). As for violin/guitar combinations, Paganini wrote some charming sonatas. Markov has a very exciting CD, released from Erato. Ricci (be sure to get the one from the 70s, not the 90s), Regis Pasquier and Hudecek have fine recordings of those works as well. If I am pressed to pick one CD, I will either pick Heifetz playing showpieces, Kreisler/Rachmaninoff duo or Gitlis Vox set (2CDs, sorry!). T.
  14. Menuhin recorded the concerto 5 times in studio (not sure about the existence of live recordings) and there is also a film of him playing this concerto available on DVD. Here is the list: 1. Randon Ronald/LSO (1931) 2. Monteux/San Francisco (1945) 3. Munch/Boston (1951) 4. Susskind/Philharmonia (1956) 5. Boult/LSO (1971) DVD Fricsay/Berlin Radio Symphony (1961) I find the first 3 studio recordings to be more secure in technique, especially regarding his right hand, although every one of them are satisfying performances in their own ways. If I were to choose between those recordings, I would pick either the 2nd or the 3rd versions. Apart from Menuhin, I like Heifetz (recorded twice, either will do), Gitlis (quite dazzling performance!) and Kreisler (1925) the best. Kreisler's was recorded at the end of accoustic era and the overall recorded sound is not very good, though his sound is captured well. Ruggiero Ricci's recording with Gamba (Decca) is not bad either. Christian Ferras also made an excellent recording. T.
  15. Quote: http://www.mattnaughtin.com/strings.html I don't quickly see this available as an individual arrangement (only in the Latin collection) as it used to be, but this is a GREAT arrangement with something for everyone in the quartet (but the first violin is the star). We played this for several concerts this spring and it got enthusiastic response each time. Worth the money (though you might email him to see if it is available as a single piece if you don't want to buy the entire album). Try also, cacophonix.com they have a version that you can download for a modest price (if you're in a hurry to get it and don't want to wait on shipping). I haven't played it though, so I don't know how it is. The Naughtin arrangement is GREAT fun (though a workout -- for me at least!) I have played both arrangements. The Naughtin is more complex, but more fun. Only downside is that the parts are handwritten, rather than computer-printed (at least when I played it), so it is a bit difficult to read. If the group has pretty strong sightreaders (or planning to have a rehearsal beforehand), go for it. Cacophonix arrangement is simpler, but enough flavor is still there. Parts are more readable, since they are computer-printed. T.
  16. I would practice with the metronome (with a quarter note beat) very slowly, and gradually faster, so the rhythm is very steady and controlled. It is never a bad idea to go back to the basics and practice wth metronome, both individually as well as a group. T.
  17. I don't know anything about Gil Sharon, but I do know a little bit about Gerard Poulet as a performer. He is the son of Gaston Poulet, who gave the premier of the Debussy violin sonata with composer at the piano. Gerard Poulet himself is a very fine player and I think he is considered one of the leading French violinist of his generation. He studied with Szeryng, among others, I believe. T.
  18. Quote: Toscha how can you say Mozarts violin concerto's 5 and 7? Did he write more than five? If so, how can I get hold of number 7? Chris L is right about the doublefulness of origin for Nos.6 and 7, but since nobody has really pinpointed who the "ghostwriter" is, I still prefer to refer them as Mozart concerti. No.7 sounds fairly convincing as Mozart composition, except for some occasional use of extreme high register and 10ths. Some of the writing reminds me of No.2, but technically far more elaborate. No.6, on the other hand, sounds to me more like a Viotti (or his school of concerti) concerto. Suk and Menuhin recorded both No.6 and 7, Szeryng, Grumiaux, Lin, D. Oistrakh recorded the No.7. By the way, "Adelaide" concerto (now we know that it is written by Marius Casadesus), is also very nice and good "imitation" of Mozart concerto. Since many of the posters posted piano and other concerti, I will mention a few. Piano Mozart Nos. 19, 20, 23, 27 Beethoven No.1 and 4 Chopin No.2 Schumann Brahms No.1 Bortkiewicz No.1 Cello Haydn (both concerti) Schumann Saint-Saens No.1 Dvorak I also like the Beethoven Triple, Mozart Sinfonia Concertante and Brahms Double. T.
  19. Quote: So whats your favorite concerto? Doesn't have to be violin. That will make the problem 10 times harder for me, so I will stick with violin! This list is purely arbitrary, though (they vary tremendously depending on my particular mood). Bach No.2 Mozart No.5 and 7 Beethoven Mendelssohn Schumann Brahms Paganini No.4 Viotti No.22 T.
  20. I would look at the Joachim edition. After all, he and Brahms collaborated in this concerto. T.
  21. It is good to see somebody remembers Campoli, Seidel, Wolfsthal, Dinicu, Goldberg, Ricci, de Vito etc. Campoli was a really versatile player. He can play the concerti of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Lalo and Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" in inimitable manner. Then he is quite at home playing salon music of the 1920s and 30s. He in fact has one of the best recording of the Monti "Czardas" played by a Classical player (only Roby Lakatos can really compare in that piece). Wolfsthal was a stunning player. Had he lived longer, he and Gerhard Taschner would have succeeded Busch and Kulenkampff as the leading German violinist. Dinicu was a great gypsy player. He was classically trained (studied with Flesch). His bow control was superb, with stunning command of up-bow staccato. Seidel's playing in intensely romantic compositions is only matched by Heifetz and Elman in their respective prime. He had one of the most beautiful and distinctive sound I heard, along with Kreisler and Heifetz. I like Ricci's earlier (pre-1970-ish) recordings. He may have lacked the charm of another formidable technician, Prihoda, but his virtuosity was simply awesome. In his later recordings, he tended to become sloppy, though. I am somewhat surprised by the mention of Rene Benedetti. I only heard two or three pieces and liked what I heard, but his recordings are so difficult to get these days. One of these days, somebody should make a compilation of his recordings. T.
  22. Quote: I'm pretty positive Szegeti studied with Enescu at one time..but i will check on that. Szigeti COULD NOT have studied formally with Enescu (indirect influence may be possible, but that is NOT the same thing). He was attending Budapest Academy until 1905, studying with Hubay. Enescu lived mostly in Paris during that time when he was not touring, which makes geographically impossible for Szigeti to have studied with Enescu. I have never really seen Szigeti referring to Enescu as one of his mentors. Hubay and even Joachim, yes, but NOT Enescu. They did have mutual respect, I believ,e and also both of them, along with Huberman and Busch, did a lot to propagate the Bach solo sonatas and partitas. Please check your resources. T.
  23. Quote: With a teacher like Gorges Enesco, how could you go wrong? Do you mean that Szigeti studied with George Enescu? I don't think so. Szigeti studied with Jeno Hubay (1858-1937). T.
  24. Quote: It's funny no one has mentioned the likes of Paulo Borciani and Joseph Roisman. Quiz: does anyone know who they were? Borciani- the first violinist of the Italian Quartet Roisman- joined the Budapest Quartet originally as the 2nd violinist (under Emil Hauser), then in 1932, became the first violinist. If I can mention my favorite chamber music (string quartets included) players, I can mention quite a few, such as Lucien Capet, Jeno Lener, Adolf Busch, Joseph Calvet, Roisman, Alphonse Onnou, Anton Kamper, Walter Barylli, Willi Boskovsky, Felix Slatkin, Henri Temianka, William Kroll, Alexander Schneider, Jacques Dumont, Nobert Brainin, Josef Vlach, Walter Weller, Gerhart Hetzel, Werner Hink etc. There are some soloists who also did some ensemble works such as Kreisler, Thibaud, Heifetz, Oistrakh, Kremer, etc. It will be like opening a new chapter of a book. T.
  25. Goldstein died in 1987. I heard his recording of the Gliere Concerto in G minor before. His style is somewhere between Heifetz and Oistrakh. A big scale player. The concerto itself, however was rather not memorable. I am getting another disc of him soon, so hopefully I will get a better picture of his playing. T.
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