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Everything posted by gypsyfiddler

  1. Kavakos took the silver in the Indeanapolis competition in '85. He was the youngest player, only 18, but was an astounding talent. He played the most hair-raising Ysaye sonata (#5 I think) I've ever heard.
  2. When the beans are evenly dispersed throughout the pad, it's about 1/2 of an inch thick, but when hung over the shoulder, it's about an inch. That's what makes this product great - it's malleability.
  3. It's made of suede, which has excellent 'gripping' abilities. The directions say that you can even pin it to your shirt to hold it in place. The one that I have measures about 7 or 8 inches long, by 3 or 4 inches wide. It sits comfortably on the shoulder and supports the violin beautifully. In fact I'd go so far as to say that it's by far one of the most comfortable shoulder pads I've ever used. Just don't bend over to stir the chili.
  4. I don't want to beat this thread to death but felt that I had to make a pitch for Shar's new 'Shoulder Pets' which is essentially a small bean-bag that lays on the shoulder. I got mine this morning and it works GREAT, even better than my Kun. If anyone wants to give this a try check out this link, unfortunately there's no picture or description of it. I found out about these pads in their new catalog, which I got 2 weeks ago. http://www.sharmusic.com/store1/ Apparantly this link won't take you directly to the page so you'll have to type in 'shoulder pet' in the search box.
  5. Some other brilliant musicians who died young include, Josef Hassid (at age 24), and Ginette Nevue (at age 30).
  6. Good idea GBP! I just hope this doesn't vanish like a mirage in the desert, or to modify what the Cowardly Lion said in 'The Wizard Of Oz', "I hope my luck holds out'.
  7. Our observations are almost identical Ray. Since I've started practicing this way I have far greater surety in fingering and shifting, not to mention a greater sense of freedom, stregnth, and flexibility. As a test I practiced the arpeggios from the opening theme of Ziguenerweisen, and sure enough I could almost zip up the fingerboard without too much of a problem, something I was unable to do before. I'm literally amazed at the difference. Once you find the right positioning of the shoulder and arm, it's just a matter of retraining yourself. Sometimes though, after I've been playing for awhile, my old habits creep back, at which time I stop, reposition myself, and start again. Since this is still new to me, I know it will take some time for me to feel completely comfortable with this new way of playing.
  8. The best of luck on your audition Carlo. Knock em dead!
  9. Ahh, a fellow giraffe. And I thought I was the only one. BREAKING NEWS: About 3 days ago after reading this thread, I took the Nestea plunge. I decided to give this business another try. The results? Through much shoulder/arm manipulation I've finally managed to feel rather comfortable playing without the need for a rest. However, I DO use a folded piece of cloth (in this case a hand towel) on my shoulder which gives me much greater support. I can play in this manner fairly long without feeling tired or sore. Perhaps it may be too early to tell, but unless it's my imagination, there HAS been an improvement in my sound, as well as surety of fingering. And dagnabbit, I can shift up into the higher positions without much trouble, something that was extremely difficult for me to do previously. As you can imagine, I'm excited by the prospects. Let's just hope I can speak with such enthusiasm 3 months from now.
  10. Your point is well taken Michael, it is sad indeed that this amazing artist is all but forgotten, except by a handful of aficionados. I'm glad to see another page devoted to this man. There can never be too many Michael Rabin webpages. From the moment I first heard Rabin as a teen of 16, he's been a major source of inspiration. His tone and technique never cease to send shivers down my spine. Though I know I'll never play anywhere near the level of his genius, he has done something perhaps just as important: given me something to aspire, or to be more honest - perspire - to. To this day he remains my favorite violinist of all time - bar none. Violinerrrz has pretty much summed up what you can find on the internet regarding Rabin, so there's not much I can add to what he's already said. There may be one or two people here who may be of help to you, such as Stephen Redrobe, who is a regular contributor on this BB. BTW, welcome to Maestronet!
  11. That sounds good in theory Pag, but what do you say to a giraffe?
  12. In reply to: I give up this dumb argument...people are too touchy... Yeah, my cat noticed too. BTW, with my long neck I definitely use a shoulder rest. I've tried playing without one several times over the years, but ultimately come back to it as shifting up into the higher positions becomes a major problem. Why couldn't I have been born with a neck like Mike Tyson?
  13. I know how you feel. If I had my way I'd buy just DVD's too, but unfortunately I don't think 'Interpretations' comes in DVD format yet, which makes me wonder how long we're going to have to wait before it finally IS made into a DVD. There might be some software you can buy that will allow you to transfer stuff from VHS to DVD. I get stuff in my mailbox all the time advertising this kind of thing.
  14. It's interesting to note that Henry Roth compared Kogan's technique (and tone?) to that of Rabin's, saying that his best recordings were made during the earlier part of his career (also like Rabin). Speaking very highly of Kogan, Roth mentions an incident where Kogan was backstage after a concert demonstrating violin technique to the orchestra violinists that left them all shaking their heads in disbelief.
  15. What a coincidence, I just ordered the video 'Leonid Kogan: Interpretations' from www.kultur.com I saw this video almost 10 years ago and was blown away by this guy's technique. It's ashamed he died prematurely.
  16. In reply to: My post was about amatuers annoying me with PM's... Cursed are ye among men that ye may walk with fools and dine with idiots.
  17. If you can find it Liljustin posted an excellent recording of this piece in it's entirety not long ago here on Maestronet. It's definitely worth listening to.
  18. I saw her on the Boston Pops when I was in high school, and was wondering too what had happened to her. She was very talented.
  19. Staylor, I'll admit that I enjoyed reading many of his (HKV's) threads, and that he had a lot to offer Maestronet, but truthfully speaking - helpful threads aside - he DID come accross as rather arrogant and aggressive; a characteristic that didn't go unnoticed by many here. To make matters worse, on more than one occassion he made implied threats to various members here, and to at least ONE member, overt threats. Finally, I think it was the boasting that turned many people against him. He seemed to always denigrate many of the young virtuosos on the scene today, an opinion that was his right to express. Had he ended his comment there, it wouldn't have been so bad, but he always seemed to infer that he was 1) Better than any of the present day violinists, and 2) Better than everyone here on Maestronet. Again, I think it was the boasting that turned many people against him. I know you're his friend and feel compelled to defend him, but at the same time you're sacrificing objectivity to loyalty. It's possible to have both here. Which brings me to my second (objective) point: As a musician I thought he was excellent, but not great, as he would have had us all believe.
  20. [gypsyfiddler thumbs through files] Let's see...SAS chinrest. Ahh, here it is: http://www.viva-sas.com/chin_about.htm
  21. Hi Matthew, I paid a brief visit to your site and it looks interesting. I'll check it out in more detail later (I just got off work this morning). Over the years, like most of the violinists you've named, I've tried foam cushions, Playonairs, Gelrests, folded handkerchiefs, and a thousand and one variations on a theme of chin-rest/shoulder-rest modifications. Then I started using the SAS chinrest about a year ago, and am happy to say that it's made the most considerable difference of anything I've ever tried. As I mentioned earlier, I'm one of those unfortunate players that have l-o-n-g arms in addition to having a l-o-n-g neck. Because of this I've never been completely at ease playing the violin. What's kept me afloat for so long is the fact that I'm willing to try anything, no matter how wacky or absurd; as long as it WORKS. For me, results are all that matter, not appearances. I got the 'anything goes' approach from an article I read many years ago about the great Bruce Lee, who often experimented with unique and innovative methods of training to improve his ability. My philosophy: If it's good for the martial artist, it's good for the musician. I saw Nigel Kennedy on television a couple of nights ago playing mostly gypsy music, and observed how the talented Brit held his violin, in particular the relation of his head and jaw to the chinrest. I tried it out for myself and voila! - it seems to have made a considerable difference. Who knows, with a relentless pursuit to climb out on a limb, and enough insights under my belt, I might yet become the next Heifetz! Not!
  22. In reply to: I swear I saw a member of the Cleveland Orchestra a few years ago that actually had a chin rest that stood about four inches above the violin Hmmm...sounds suspiciously like the SAS chinrest, which I use, and works great.
  23. In reply to: Perhaps some people (or giraffes) should play the viola, or maybe even the cello Hey, not a bad idea! Anybody wanna trade their viola for my violin. I'll even throw in my cat (he's eating me out of house and home).
  24. Since we're on the topic of playing w/o shoulder rests, this might be a good time to ask Meister Redrobe a question, in fact I asked this question of HKV several years ago (forgotten his reply), but I think it bears repeating: How in the world does one play w/o a shoulder rest if you have a neck like a giraffe?
  25. In reply to: Grand Canyon Suite -- don't remember the composer Ferde Grofe
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