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Everything posted by pjm

  1. If you don't like the recording ,Kremer probably is more to blame for the interpretation. Try listening to Mahler 5 Maazel/Vienna. It is wonderful!
  2. Great news! Now people will be able to hear how well the orchestra is playing, and the brass won't have to blow their brains out anymore just to sound balanced in the audience. Less earplug time for the viola section?!
  3. About 3+ weeks . This is good though ,compared to everything that I have tried. Maybe I should stop practicing?
  4. I just have to profess my love for Evah Pirazzi. Big, rich sound,and longer life span than doms.(which is still only a pathetic 2-3 weeks for me ). I should stop sweating so much. Maybe nerves? I digress... try them. I have noticed that two thirds of the violinists in my orchestra use them now, too.(not a scientific survey)
  5. I would like to know what is it about being a musician that you find most difficult(excluding technical specifics). I feel that there are great challanges that go along with being a musician. Especially now-culturally,politically etc.
  6. A titled player in my orchestra said that when she was young, she saw Meadowmount as a great vacation, since she practiced so much more the during rest of the year. This is just something I thought was funny, and perspective.
  7. It may be fair to say that the traditional teaching of violinists has too heavily emphasized solo rep, whatever the motivation for studying the instrument. I agree with Tobychaos in this sense.
  8. It would have been so nice! When I was in high school, Gingold passed away. Of course there are wonderful teachers still (some on this forum, no doubt),but the commitment and craft of Galamian and the humanity of Gingold......we'll have to search long and hard(not in the Redrobian sense). Excuse a poor attempt at humor,please.
  9. This is fine playing! I find it difficult to direct since, to me ,this was all one type of playing. To split hairs, I wasn't crazy about the lyrical quality of sound. It seemed like everything was great, unless they needed to play in the string and settle. Also, some groups of notes in Figaro were out of tune(only within the hand frame-not shifting). This only stuck out because so much of it is all over the violin and so accurate. As I said, this is hair splitting. A very high level of playing here,clearly. My greater concern is offering THESE selections for critique. Why not more substantial music? Emotional bandwidth is what I listen for mainly, of which I still have no idea. Please post more! It is a pleasure to hear this level of virtuosity.
  10. I like the Manhattan String Quartet's recording (on the ESS.A.Y Recordings label). For me, the sound and character are just right. If you want barn-burning virtuosity,however,the Emerson is tough to beat. Enjoy them all!
  11. I'm not sick of this thread, because S.R.'s former representation was dominating this forum. Isn't it fitting that we dwell just a bit on a change in this environment. This is an opportunity to have a truly free exchange of ideas, without domination by "Master of Masters". Currently, I'm a first violinist in the Minnesota Orchestra. I won the job just last Feb. Before that, I was Guest Principal 2nd of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I will never be famous. I have been a soloist with regional/per service orchestras, but I'm not experienced with the A-list circuit. Before orchestra playing I was in a professional string quartet for four years. I say these things only because credentials are somewhat important, as is giving an indication of credibility. I would like to contribute anything that I can to those interested. I would also like to caution against seeking THE AUTHORITY on music or string playing, because there are too many facets to what we love, and noone has expertise in them all! I welcome this era in which we all can participate without aggression, and we can use experiences/proficiency as a point of reference, not to win an argument.
  12. Being a professional soloist isn't really up to the student, usually. An aspiring professional musician, soloist, chamber, ochestral.....would require similar dedication. Whether one becomes an established soloist is an issue of demand based on many factors.
  13. I confess I didn't see the video(couldn't seem to download it). An issue I have is a failure to recognize good playing(or bad)based on the reputation of the performer, not my ears. I feel many of us do an enormous disservice to live music by looking to recordings or stories as the standard of playing when there are so many variables-who's playing what,conductor,orchestra,weather,nerves,fatigue,is this the 2nd or1002nd time they have played it? In most weeks (3-4 concerts),I hear one remarkable performance, and at least one average performance. I'm sure that this was true of all the late greats as well(train wrecks and memory slips even at a Heifetz concert?!) I hope that wasn't the only time some people heard him. Maxim Vengerov, who has been easily dismissed on these boards before, played the Beethoven Concerto with my orchestra last year. We had two rehearsals(luxury). The second rehearsal haunts me as the most beautiful violin playing I have ever heard. During the performances, I was not as thrilled. This gave me pause that nobody who bought a ticket got to hear the level of playing that I did. I feel that with todays high playing standards ,perhaps the greatest performances of great works are done by people we havent heard of. I feel blessed to live in a time when there are dozens of people at the highest level of playing, some recognized, some not. This should have been a new thread. Please excuse my rambling on.
  14. Trust yourself to look ahead(more than one would typically do). It requires that you trust your ability to retain info. Stay hungry for the next group of notes/rhythms.
  15. I went to public schools for all of my education(formal). I was a terrible student in high school,and barely passed most of my classes. If you are really serious about music, you need the practice time more than anything else. I met an enormous amount of resistance to these priorities but, I would do exactly the same thing again, given the chance.(although typing email would probably be less challanging)
  16. I agree. There is no substitute for preparation. Practice much and visualize the venue-setting. Play for as many people as you possibly can in a mock/trial situation. Accept your humanity and focus on music, not technique. Take your technique for granted(you did practice enough?) Imagine great results.
  17. I play a Vigneron (64 grams) and a Bazin (63 grams). I seem to prefer clubs to bows.
  18. I mean no disrespect for those who do have extensive experience.I simply wanted to voice that you are the minority,so someone looking for guidance is not dissuaded by someone without basis. My apologies for any offense taken,as I meant none.
  19. My problem is this: An aspiring violinist who reads this thread and many past threads would draw the following conclusions: 1. Pros are careless, poor players 2. Auditions are all rigged, so don't bother to play well or prepare. 3. The people who win jobs are political operators, rather than qualified musicians. 4. Being stuck in a top orchestra is a sad fate , free of interest or passion for work. 5. To hold these feelings is not negative it is just truth. I think the reason this bothers me is because I am a member of a great orchestra and have consistently done well at blind auditions(where I didn't know committee members). I have seen others consistently do well also. It strips much credit from this success to hear the tears and sweat of preparation dismissed so easily. Being a finalist who didn't win the job can feel pretty raw( I know this from several experiences), but I still have a great deal of faith in the process. The real competition for you young aspiring pros out there is the 5-10 people out of the 200+ who actually have prepared and know their stuff. I love this profession completely, and I am lucky to make great music with a great orchestra. Hearing good sounding live music is no small thing. Let's not pretend that it is.
  20. Please don't believe everything you read here. I suspect many of these negative views expressed here are out of frustration in many forms. Often the most negative feelings stem from not doing as well in the field as one would like, rather than exhausting all possibilities and finding the whole field not worthy of one's efforts. I mean no disrespect, but I believe that for all the opinions here, there is very little first hand experience.
  21. Kabul,I didn't mean to give the impression that I think the best player always wins the job. I also have gotten raw deals.The reality seems to be that if you are of a certain level, you will win a big job, not the next one , or even the one after that, but you will end up in an appropriate place when stars are aligned. I also feel like the smaller scale the orchestra, the more insecurity/politics goes on. My perspective is of violin auditions only. I can understand that for soloist positions in the orchestra one would consider other factors as well. I don't feel that this is fair, but this is clearly standard practice in some orchestras for titled positions. I honestly have not seen a recent audition winner in a major orchestra who plays "horribly". Please coach me on how to discuss this (pm). In that regard I'm definitely naive.
  22. Kabal, I will respectfully disagree with you on some of these issues. Some of us enjoy excellent pay and benefits, working conditions,etc.because of the strength of our local union. I'm sorry that your local union reps. sound like clowns. I am though, confused about your remarks re: recordings and pension. No special payments in Aug.? I would guess that the union is reluctant to hunt down funds for you because it wasn't a union contract to begin with. Pensions as a rule have age qualifications on them, and the AFM pension fund has a very generous benefit per contribution figure. The audition scene is complicated, of course,yet, nothing drives me crazy like the notion that good players don't win and politics supercede playing well. I have heard stories too. I found that when I advanced at auditions, the other advancing players were people that I recognized from other auditions. I've been amazed at the consistency of results for some players (attending blind auditions). I will choose not to believe that a winning candidate couldn't play very well. I'm curious: which orchestra? Which candidate? I also found, very consistently, that those who gossip the most in the green room don't go anywhere but home. Kabal, I don't mean this all as a reaction to your post , so please don't take it so. I am reacting to the general negativity which is rampant in this field,passed along by people"in the know". My feeling is that the opposite is true. The higher one climbs in this profession, the better the view.
  23. I would like to take advantage of your varied experiences in asking-What do you feel is the most neglected aspect(s) of your musical training/ learning? What do you wish someone had told you earlier in your musical life?
  24. Orchestral playing is, although a great job, tiring work. I'd caution against passing quick judgement without knowing the rate of injury in players and not being able to hear them individually. In my orchestra, most of the people who are injured play with a position that looks like Mr. Galamian's book. In reply to: Not all are this way, but I can tell you from bitter experience that if you go in young, brilliant, enthusiastic, and determined to stamp your values on the 'old Maybe you could have learned a different lesson from you "bitter experience". I think that orchestras are hiring nothing but " " As a professional, I take music very seriously,as do my co-workers.Technique is simply a means to an end of expessive art.To dwell on this aspect is not perfectionism,but a failure to make beautiful, genuine, vulnerable, human -music. p.s. If you really make more money than top orchestral players in the U.S., than you must be far down the road to pedagoguesville. Congratulations!
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