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Lydia Leong

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Everything posted by Lydia Leong

  1. Sorry, HKV. A minor bit of perhaps-unjustified envy on my part, encountering someone who can pursue his interests to the fullest without financial constraints. Though your parents no doubt had their own gratification in mind as well, your relatives have gifted you with several excellent instruments, as well as a good education (and I suspect you've persuaded them to pay for the Ph.D. in the field you're really interested in, as well, or you'd not have the time to be thinking about entering a major competition). Most people are not nearly so lucky. It comes with hooks, I know. In fact, I eventually realized that to really *own* my life, I had to be financially independent of my parents, even if that meant temporarily less comfortable circumstances. I realize it's extremely difficult to choose between the financial freedom to pursue what you want to do, and the ties that bind you to those who are providing you with that freedom. I would say, though: If you choose to let your family support you, you should not feel guilty about it -- nor should you resent it. Enjoy the freedom, and pay off the obligation as required.
  2. I believe instruments in Stradivari's time were designed for an A404. Today's concert pitch (usually A440 and sometimes as high as A450) results in the instrument being tuned about a half-step higher than it was intended to be, with these proportions, resulting in higher tensions than designed for. (Add to this the fact that such instruments weren't intended to be heard in the gigantic modern concert halls we have today...)
  3. I am struck by the magnificent irony of how "Chr-st' is considered a "bad word" by the BB censorship software, but "Satan" is not. (For obvious reasons, of course, since the former is used as a swear-word-like punctuation by many people, and the latter is not. Still...)
  4. Hmm. Off the top of my head: International (Indianapolis) Irving Klein Menuhin Leopold Mozart Nielsen Queen Elizabeth Paganini Sibelius Tchaikovsky Wieniawski If I recall the recent issue of the Strad correctly, the Flesch is still on indefinite hiatus due to organizational problems. I would think that Strings magazine would have the competition addresses and so forth listed in their resource guide. Must be nice not having to support yourself, HKV.
  5. I had a teacher, briefly, who forced me to go without a shoulder-rest. As a child, I went through a very large number of shoulder-rests, never finding one that felt comfortable. Later, a teacher of mine listened to me complain about discomfort, took me to a violin shop, and helped me pick out a new chinrest and shoulder-rest combination. (A goodly part of the problem was that I was using a chinrest that didn't really suit me.) If you're going to play restless, then you should both adjust your technical approach accordingly, and find a chinrest that suits the new position of the instrument. It sounds like the kind of pain you're experiencing is injury, not fatigue.
  6. quote: Originally posted by Kieren: Lydia I don't recall mentioning anything about my accomplishments or trupeting my own success. Odd how I didn't say that you did, hmm? quote: Recently many on this board have belittled others (like HKV). Donuel went so far as to say"suitable for the most demanding soloist even HKV" in his description of his devil's violin on E-Bay. "The top 10 reasons HKV deleted his thread" is another example. Nobody tells these people they are in bad taste This is because they are JOKING. I believe just about everyone, HKV included, takes it in the spirit it was intended. quote: Lydia I'm sorry you had to be the one to prove my point for me. I had hoped it would be one of those others. Er. What point?
  7. Check out Deutsche Grammophon's CD-Pluscore. http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/cdpluscore/ It lets you listen to the music while the score goes past, among a number of other things. Gil Shaham's recording of the Four Seasons (also on the DG label) includes a video clip. Some of Silva's film score compendiums ("Warriors of the Silver Screen", etc.) come with bonus material, like background info and so forth, on the CD-ROM.
  8. Ayn Rand's opinions on music become somewhat amusing in the light of what she called her "tiddlywinks" music. Rand was extremely fond of the light classical music of the time -- the light operettas popular in Europe at the time, salon-orchestra music, band arrangements by people like Paul Whiteman (Gershwin's orchestrator for Rhapsody in Blue, and leader of a famous band), and so forth. Such music was really more the popular music of its time, not "serious" "art music". Rand did not like what was, in her time, "modern" music -- what to most of us now is a complex and interesting and tolerable level of dissonance (Stravinsky, for instance) was not part of the harmonic language that she grew up with, and consequently she did not appreciate it and disparaged it repeatedly in her works. (Remember, too, that these works often require repeated listening to understand and appreciate, something not available to the concert-goer of the time.)
  9. Carl Flesch. He had a knack for -- and an apparently genuine enjoyment of -- taking mediocre players and turning them into fairly good ones. Seems right up my alley. I have to say that I really miss a former teacher of mine, though.
  10. I believe that the uniqueness of the sound and interpretations of the "old masters" stemmed from their individual physical approaches to the instrument, as well as their willingness to sacrifice faithfulness to the composer's intentions, and to the written score, when they felt it suited the interpretation they were trying to create. Listen to Kreisler's Mendelssohn concerto with Ranald (on the Pearl label), where he adds little ornaments of his own, and plays along with the orchestra at times. Listen to Elman's Khachaturian concerto with Golschmann (on the Vanguard label), where he takes tempos that are vastly slower than what the composer indicated; among other things, this radically changes the character of the third movement, to something most certainly *not* intended by the composer (not even remotely close!) and yet still musically compelling... if you'd never heard it any other way, it wouldn't sound out of place to you. Listen to Elman's interpretation of Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, on that same disc -- from the opening little ornament, which is rhythmically altered from what's printed, Elman stamps his own personal seal on the entire work. Listen to Milstein's first commercial recording of the Bruch G minor concerto, with Barbirolli (on the Pearl label). Individualistic though still relativey faithful to the composer's intentions -- though he alters things when it suits his taste, such as at the end of the first movement, when he plays the second half of the last run in octaves. (I heard Jamie Laredo do the same thing, with considerably less flair and agility, at a live performance recently.) I've cited a number of extreme cases, granted.
  11. I'll add one more thing: The really great -- even the very good -- people in any field of endeavour rarely need to trumpet their own successes. They do not need arrogance, they do not resort to condescension, they do not expect others to marvel at them, and they have no need to belittle or mistreat others. Rather, they simply "are". Their skill, knowledge, passion and dedication shine through in the things they do and say. I'll go far to say that this is true of anyone who has true self-esteem.
  12. I don't need to meet anyone in person to dislike them immediately -- sometimes the "this person is a jerk" quality shines through loud and clear in their writing. I'll leave it up to all of you to deduce who I'm referring to. I *do* happen to be a fan of objectivism, but not a worshipper of it, if you get the distinction (and anyone who has made a serious and thoughtful examination of objectivism should). Far too many of the objectivists that I've encountered over the years have been, to use Kieran's term, "second-handers" trying to claim that their true greatness had been suppressed. Bah. Genius, greatness, or whatever you want to call it is never an excuse for incivility.
  13. Mutter caused quite a controversy when she first appeared in her strapless gowns, years ago. The press has always commented on her looks, and it is no doubt part of her superstardom in Germany. However, she was also Karajan's protege, and the rest of the world has always recognized that she would deserve to be in the top rank of contemporary soloists.
  14. Listening to Brava, I don't get a sense that she's really entirely in command of the instrument. There are intonation slips in the recording, for instance, and other faults that would be well within the bounds of what one could excuse in a live recital, but seem much more unforgiveable in the light of a studio recording where the performer gets multiple takes to do it right. (There's certainly nothing there that would prevent her from being a competent regional orchestra player, though -- as she was earlier in her career. But I still think I've heard better recital performances out of conservatory students.)
  15. Out of curiousity, Omobono: Is this someone's private collection that you're playing, or is this a shop? (I'm curious to what degree you felt that price tag correlated with sound, too, given the enormous price range those instruments cover.) I played a Landolfi a couple of weeks ago, while I was looking for a violin... absolutely wonderful, though just a touch too dark for my tastes. And vastly more than I could afford.
  16. This is, of course, not to say that there aren't people out there who are over-achievers, obsessed, enslaved, and elitist -- carrying good qualities to extremes, and thus turning them into negative qualities. Most of those people also characterize *themselves* by the positive terms.
  17. Forget the violins -- I want the chocolate boats drifting on the caramel sea! (Ack, Theresa, did you have to use that particular image? )
  18. I thought I had heard all the feminist rhetoric there was... This one is new to me. (Some people. Sheesh.)
  19. Heifetz definitely seems mean to his students.
  20. I believe it is entirely possible to be passionate, determined, and self-disciplined, and to exhibit willpower, artistic temperament, and artistic integrity... all without being the slightest bit mean. Don't confuse any of these things with being "mean". Use the English vocabulary for the purposes it was intended: to express with some reasonable precision the ideas one intends to convey. All of the greatest soloists in history had great strength of personality.
  21. Heck no, I'm definitely NOT the Grand Pedagogue of the board, thank you. Those of you out on the east coast ought to get together for lunch or something. NYC or Philly is probably decently midway between most of you... It seems an awful lot easier than England -- and you might get a surprising number of people.
  22. Hilary Hahn and Garrick Ohlsson just recorded the Brahms sonatas together. Remember, though, that G.O. is a great concert artist himself -- Hahn is lucky to have him as a partner in these sonatas. I would guess that they probably play these works together when their concert schedules coincide comfortably.
  23. I suspect that a lot of teachers will only teach repertoire that they know -- or at least will only suggest such works to their students. Students who want to play unusual things will thus have to (a) find those unusual things themselves, and ( convince their teacher to work on it with them (or learn it on their own, of course). (I know that my own teacher feels obliged to practice a work that I'm doing, if she doesn't already know it, so she's able to demonstrate during a lesson and anticipate problems. This means she's got to invest time of her own beyond my lesson time.) Concertizing artists probably are stuck playing what orchestras want to program, or recording companies are willing to record. So we end up with a hundred recordings of the Sibelius concerto and the same two dozen concertos in every concert hall across the globe. Sometimes works are unjustly neglected, sometimes they're neglected because they're flawed in some way, and sometimes works are trendy (or not, as the case might be). Korngold's wonderful violin concerto, for instance, seems to be back "in" of late.
  24. I have now seen Dounis's "Daily Dozen" mentioned a large number of times, in books, magazine articles, and occasionally here on the Fingerboard. It does not seem to be in print. If it is in print, who publishes it? And if it's not in print, why isn't it, give that so many pedagogues and players evidently think it's a fantastic thing? (Shar carries three Dounis books for violin: Artist's Technique op. 12, Higher Development of Thirds and Fingered Octaves op. 30, and New Aids to the Technical Development of the Artist op. 27.) And if anyone here has actually used it... what do you think?
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