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Everything posted by Ann

  1. Ann

    Juzek vs. Juzek

    Would someone care to express an opinion on the difference between pre-WW2 and post-WW2 Juzeks? I seem to recall some discussion in the direction of the German instruments being inferior to the older ones but I forget where I remembered the reference from.
  2. Ann

    Chinese cello

    I bought myself a cello from Costco for $300 in August, and with some needed upgrades, it will be a very nice instrument for well less than $1000.
  3. I haved moved the viola from my shoulder all the way to just above my breast bone. I have used an over the tailpiece rest, a side rest, and no rest. I have played good violas from violin sized to 15 1/4", about my upper limit. Whatever pulls my elbow under the viola hurts. I tried a sling under the viola that went behind my back. I haven't played bass in MANY years, but it seems to me that where my elbow would be while playing a bass would have to feel better than having it under the viola. At least I hope so.
  4. This is not a plug, merely an observation. I had a trial of the Luis and Clark viola last summer and it is a wonderful instrument. It is a 16" so too long for me, but if it were a 15 1/4" my problem would have been solved. I am anxiously awaiting the Luis and Clark DB. HenryPeacham, I am going to print your well worded response and read it until I can actually determine, as you and I agree, that it might work for me. Again, "thank you's" to all.
  5. I'm charmed by all of your kind thoughts. The choice is really viola or bass, perhaps I could have been more precise. I have played numerous sizes, shapes, and weights of violas without the desired success. The bass, I thought, might permit more use of my ear, which is very good, and less reliance on the precision of my fingers (very ordinary)_ and the #(*Y)UT+!#(* shoulder joint. My passion is ensemble playing and the ocarina orchestra and recorder consorts around here are few and far between. But keep the ideas comin' in folks!
  6. Doctor and physical therapist: I've had a CAT scan and several weeks of PT. Odds on improvement through surgery: Barely 50/50. Physical therapist's opinion: Quit playing. Teacher's opinion: Play through the pain. Best advice: Came from "Fiddlefaddle" sometime poster on this board.
  7. Haven't posted in quite a while because my string life has been a big zero recently. The bottom line- my vibrato stinks, my technique progresses like a snail, I can only practice for limited amounts of time because it hurts so much. For those of you who teach, or who play multiple instruments, what could I lose/gain if I went to string bass? Just now it seems to me that I couldn't do worse than what I'm doing now, and the position of my shoulder with my hand raised above my head is a big improvement over trying to twist it under my viola. I tried cello and it also involves twisting my shoulder with my elbow low, which hurts. Any thoughts?
  8. You would think one would be easier than it seems to be. If anyone teaches in the Morris County area, please post.
  9. There was a charming piece on the radio last Friday about a woman who was a Zeigfield Girl, received her college degree at 88, and will be dancing in Aux Cage some time soon (at 102!).To paraphrase, "There's always time for 'cello"!
  10. It was described when I bought it as a cleat. It is a very small interior patch over the crack. The crack is still visible on the outer side of the pegbox.
  11. My beautiful Scottish viola has a crack between the C string hole where the peg enters the pegbox, and the A string hole where the A string peg exits. It has been cleated and the repair appears to be holding very well. As an experiment, I reversed the position of the C and G strings yesterday to see if there was any difference in resonance between the C in its traditional position and the C with the G peg reversed. (Hope it's possible to follow this). I was pleased to find that there absolutely was a difference, and even strung with an old C string that I would never use on such a small (14 3/4") viola, the sound was significantly improved. My question- with the C and G pegs reversed, will the cleated repair be placed in any jeopardy?
  12. I almost bought a Kun Voce shoulder rest last week, but I was afraid it would be too narrow for my viola(s). When I went to search it on the search engine, all I got were current posts, then I recalled that I had had the same problem the last time I searched. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
  13. Some of you may recall my purchase of a lovely small viola in October of '03. When I received it, (from Scotland) it was in perfect playing shape and had an extraordinarily lovely sound for as small as it was (14 7/8")and also could put out a really terrific volume of sound. The winter was cold, the house was warm but dry, and the next thing I knew, I found a buckle in the seam at the tailpiece, extending about an inch. Even in the hands of a very competent luthier, it was touch and go until it was finally repaired. It could not be glued as it was and when it was taken apart, a second small buckle appeared at the neck end of the back. Through all of this I blamed myself for not providing appropriate humidity in the room,and it was certainly my fault. The repair is successful and it is a pleasure to play, but I gained some gray hairs over the planing and ultimate gluing. I would never think of attempting to glue a back myself, at the very least without the input of someone very skilled in violin repair. Of interest when the back came off was that there appeared to be some very old staining inside that my luthier identified as beer!
  14. Actually, I never thought of "March to the Scaffold" as being particularly solemn unless you are aware of the title/plot before you play it/hear it. "Asa's Death" from Peer Gynt is more my idea of "grim". Maybe also "The Last Spring". Not exactly eerie that one, but very sad.
  15. My understanding is that Helen is the only person who makes instruments in her shop. I think her statement implies that hers are not historical copies but rather that the instruments she makes are based on designs that she has developed herself. As to the "unorthodox" character of her designs, I expect that the market for resale would be most focused at those who would have a particular need for a very fine small viola. I've only seen one of her instruments, an older one, offered for sale and I don't know whether it sold or not. I believe there is someone else on this board, but I can't recall a name just now, who spoke of the Michetschlager viola of a friend's and indicated that he wished he had a large viola half as good. I've paraphrased but I think I have the sense of what was meant. I consider myself very lucky to have my viola, and if I were to come into some unexpected money, I'd love to have one of her two cornered 15" violas. They are visually very beautiful, sound wonderful, and are easy (but not too easy) to play. I wish she were selling them here!
  16. As I unhesitatingly mention when this subject comes up, Helen Michetschlager makes superior small violas. The Stapely 14" violas can make a very fine and realistic viola sound, and I also have at least one other small viola that does very well, and it was found on eBay.
  17. I'm looking for a console keyboard or electronic piano, to be used mostly for composition, that will replace a studio grand that takes up too much room in my house and is rarely used. Could someone advise me about Yamaha, Casio, or whatever should be a good instrument? Thanks!
  18. My Maggini copy is a viola, just shy of 15", from the shop of James Hardie and Son, a little over 100 years old. It is a wonderful little instrument with double purfling, but unfortunately not the leaf design. I bought it from a seller on eBay, and have had it a year. It has a large, rich, dark sound for an instrument so small, wonderful golden finish, and is light as a feather. Right now it's recuperating from surgery, but I'm sure it will be back to its old self soon. I keep hoping to find out why it was built so small but so far no luck. I was delighted to receive some information from fiddlecollector about it just after I got it.
  19. Does anyone know where I can get a recording of The Swingle Singers' rendition of the Beatle song "Blackbird"? It seems to have been removed from the Swingle Beatles album. It is class A+ music. Thanks in advance......
  20. My brain must have been possessed- of course I meant "raise the bass side" and in fact I had exactly the conversation you suggest, with a young lady who was both gracious and knowledgeable. It may be too narrow for some of my violas, OK for others, at approx. 7" from metal foot to metal foot, and can't be adjusted. Thanks for waking me up on that post, Andy!
  21. I still seem to be having trouble with the search function, so I apologize if this topic has already been addressed. I was flipping through the Shar catalogue and saw it, and since I've been looking for a rest that would turn the treble bouts toward me without raising the bass side, I thought this might do it. Please comment.
  22. Stupid question Dom, but it just occurred to me- have you tried Alexander or Traeger or any of those programs? Do you have a medical explanation for the physical symptoms? Have you ever had a course of physical therapy?
  23. You might find Robert Gerle's grid system interesting.
  24. Viola was my very first instrument, and I'm a little wary of leaving it, especially since I know the clef, but I've tried every viola that I thought might work except the Pellagrina, and I'm finding that my vibrato doesn't get any better while my shoulder gets worse. Have you checked the Luis and Clark website, and the Incredibow website? I've played a cello that was set up for a woman with carpal tunnel, and found it easy to play as well as challenging in terms of working on each string. At that time I almost went to cello altogether, but I felt I had to give viola one more try. Now that I've given viola what I consider my maximum effort, I have reached the conclusion that cello may give me more of the rewards that you have spoken of, and less of the frustrations of chronic shoulder pain. After playing all summer I stopped about 3 weeks ago, and the positive change in my shoulder has been dramatic. My only road block right now is educating myself about how comfortable the L&C can be made. Let me know your impressions of the websites if you go there.
  25. I'm in the same boat. Why is it that you would rather play a cello tuned as a viola instead of a cello tuned as a cello? I think really serious intermediates face a credibility issue, and I'm pretty sure if I whipped out a teeny cello and put it on my knee in my orchestra, I'd be laughed out of the room before I had the time to tune it. My current research is focused on the Luis and Clark cello. I had a trial of the viola over this last summer and it was TERRIFIC to play, but at a little over 16" it was way to big for me. The question currently is how easy the action is on the cello. I'm OK with bass and C clefs, so the only real issue is how much effort is expended stopping the string. If I go that route, I'm going to try the Ultralight Incredibow, which, credibility wise, is, I think, a little easier to get away with than the vertical viola. I have mostly concluded after a 3 week break that my shoulder is never going to permit me to attain the technique on the viola that I might be able to attain on a cello. If anyone has experience with the L&C cello, please post your experience with ease of playing.
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