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Posts posted by 4fiddlinkids

  1. Would anyone mind lending a quick note to the uninitiated? I assume from the context that outer molds are "better" (?) If this assumption is correct, what makes violins made using an outer mold superior to those made from an inner mold?

  2. When I took my son to his first concert, I let him read about the artist on her website so he felt more like he knew her (it was Hilary Hahn). He was 6 at the time and he was so excited when she walked out on stage that he leaned over and whispered "Dad, I am SO nervous". It helps having them see a younger artist who uses media to stay in touch with the public (I think both Hahn and Bell fall into this category). BTW Hilary was amazing and afterward stayed until she had signed autographs and taken photos with everyone (took two with my son because she thought her eyes were closed in the first). All the good things you hear about her as a musician and the way she deals with the public are completely true (from my experience).

  3. Friz,

    Using your example, part of the reason may stem from the fact that both appliances and cars are items which, because of their moving parts, suffer from "wear and tear" and depreciate in value. There is no reason to think that a violin that has been played for 1-2 years by a student will not be worth at least as much as the price originally paid. If there is "wear and tear", the shop would deduct this from the trade in value. I also think it safe to assume that in most cases there is an increase in instrument price when moving up in size. I do agree that trust and service are the main reasons to do business with a shop and a "trade in guarantee" is not enough to bring me back to a shop that did not exhibit these qualities.

  4. I share "outside's" feeling. I am answering more in terms of "playing style" as opposed to originality (like ability to write a cadenza or improvise). Although many of the modern players are insanely good from a technical standpoint, I don't think many have an identifiable sound or style. I say this with the caveat that my ear may not be as discerning as that of a professional like Gennady, but even I can tell when I hear Heifetz. I am extremely fond of Hilary Hahn's playing, but I am not sure I could honestly say I could hear a recording and immediately say "that's Hilary". Again, some people with a more refined ear may be able to contradict what I say about the "moderns".

    Good topic by the way.

  5. From what I have seen, instrument loan programs seem to be more common (or at least better publicized) in Europe. Canada has a sizable instrument "bank" as does Norway I believe. I have yet to read about an artist complaining about the requirement to provide upkeep and insurance on the instrument. The article also mentions that the artist plays 2-3 concerts per year, hardly what most would consider being at the "beck and call" of the donor. I also find it interesting to note that the article mentions an artist who offers cristicism of the fund yet who still ejoys a "brisk career as a solo violinst" despite the fact that she no longer plays in instrument from the society. The article had an earlier quotation that the career of an artist playing anything less than a Strad or Del Gesu "goes nowhere".

  6. Two items that went WAY over their estimate:

    #225 Attributed to Della Costa had estimate of $20-30 and went for $150,000

    #99 "In the manner of Lorenzo Storioni" had an estimate of $5-7,000 and went for $96,000

    Either they knew something Christies didn't or some people feel in love hard!

  7. Probably Pierre Hel. If so, he was born March 5, 1884, Lille. Died July 13, 1937, Lille. Son and successor of Joseph, took over shop in 1902. Before working with his father he served his apprenticeship at Bazin atelier in Mirecourt. His work is similar to his father's, although a little harder in appearance. Also known as an expert restorer.

    He was appointed violin maker of the Conservatory of The Hague and won several exhibition medals. His varnish is often lighter in shade than his father's. Brand "Pierre Hel" on the rib close to the endpin.

    Info above re Hel from Grove's dictionary

  8. Eric, I am in a similar situation (not much experience with different instruments). I recently had the opportunity to attend a showing at Tarisio auction house in NY. The staff was very friendly and the atmosphere was not intimidating in the least. Just a bunch of instruments of all price ranges on table and you pick up and play anything that interests you. If you are in the market, and you are able to make it to New York, I highly recommend at least looking. The downside of course, is that there is no "extended check-out period".

  9. As far as a "power" piece, nothing beats the Brahms (IMHO). I listen to the first movement at least three times a week on the way to work to get blood pumping (full volume). In my opinion, Milstein takes first and second place (love his cadenza).

    The Beethoven is amazing. How can something so "easy" as triplets and arpeggios be so gorgeous? Mendelssohn was my first love and for this one I have to choose Hillary Hahn. After listening to her recording, I am not sure we even play the same instrument I also like Hillary's interpretation of Paganini #1. Not sure if it my favorite recording, but definitely different from others I have heard.

  10. If it is truly a higher level symphony, I might omit the scales. Passing out the excerpts has the advantage of allowing the student to evaluate the level of music that will be performed (and then making a decision if they are at the required level of proficiency). I agree that the solo will allow the student a chance to "shine" as well as allow the panel to better judge interperative skills. The written evaluation is a nice idea, but maybe accompanied with a policy of not discussing the comments (hopefully to nip any arguing about opinions in the bud).

  11. It depends if you are shopping from the standpoint of a musician or a collector. A collector does not care about the tone or sound of the instrument. A player technically should not care about the maker, provinence, etc. I think that if they are honest, most musicians can't help but be swayed at least a little by an instrument from a known maker. I also think it is human nature to always look for something "better".

  12. The new Hilary Hahn CD (Paganini #1 and Spohr #8) is available starting today in stores and on I-Tunes. I downloaded from I-tunes and IMO it is by far her best recording yet. Although I like the concerto, I would not consider myself a HUGE fan of the 1st (a little too heavy on the cymbols), but Hilary really does offer a different look at the concerto I really enjoyed. I HIGHLY recommend!