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Stephen Fine

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  1. I think it's on a case-by-case, composer-by-composer basis for quite a while. Standardization seems like it came (slowly, somewhat) with music publishing houses. Even Bach sometimes seems to mean different things at different times with his dotted rhythms.
  2. No argument in this performance. They decided that the dots were shorthand for triplets. Common performance practice. Playing triplets against dotted rhythm would give this a wildly different feel, wouldn't it?
  3. Pinkie and pink entered the American lexicon via different etymological routes. I'd say pinko is pejorative, not derogatory.
  4. Not in the slightest. I'm a bit nervous wondering what word you're thinking of.
  5. The stretch between low-2 and 4 is a big stretch in First Position. Practice reaching it every day, taking care not to over-exert your hand and before long it will be easy. This is a very common problem for beginners. I think along the same lines as Andrew's "finger dancing", make sure your hand structure rotates to support the pinky side, if your hand is "back" towards your thumb and first finger, it will be much harder to reach that fourth finger. Especially on the G-string, you may find that bringing your left elbow further inside will give your pinky more length.
  6. Arensky was Rachmaninov's Composition professor at the Moscow Conservatory. I love Arensky! Such beautiful music.
  7. Hah. It's true that a motivated buyer will likely convince themselves that they like a particular sound, but still, a dealer or collector who will pay $15,000 for a Roth without playing it sounds apocryphal (or, at least, very very rare) to me. Or maybe Roths have become even more alluring than I thought.
  8. Michael, If you want to sell the violin for a premium price, it needs to sound like a premium product. No one [intelligent] is going to buy a $15,000 violin that doesn't sound amazing. Spend a little to make a little. Take it to a set-up wizard and splurge on official papers from the Roths.
  9. Yeah... if you're looking for a variety, that'll get you there. Some libraries have recordings available online, the Shepherd School for example.... scholarship.rice.edu
  10. University libraries usually stock recital recordings of all their students. There must be a limitless supply of students recording Bach if you care to mine that vein.
  11. The mission of the chamber music festival I work with is bringing chamber music to rural locations that lack access to classical music. We've been doing it for a decade now. My experience is working with audiences who've often never heard a viola before. So... I'm tellin' ya. In my experience, the more rural, the more accepting and thoughtful. My theory is that it's a combination of enthusiasm for and scarcity of art in these out-of-the-way places, but also I find the people in places with limited access to internet/television have longer attention spans. I promise you, many would, indeed, miss the Messiah if it was only every 5 years, but many, like you, would rather have something else. And almost everyone, in my experience, will have a good time, even if the music is thorny and unfamiliar, so long as they are properly prepared for the event. The preparation part is important. Last year I took a course on arts management through Coursera and the University of Maryland taught by Michael Kaiser (who ran a few of the USA's important arts institutions) called The Cycle that reinforced my view that catering to the audience can only occur after you first invest in the art and artists. I think it's the correct approach for arts institutions of any size.
  12. This is a legend... In my experience, audiences will take what you give them and enjoy it so long as you prepare them well. Whether it's a thorny classic (e.g. Bartok String Quartet #3) or a new classic (say, a string quartet by Caroline Shaw or Jessie Montgomery), audiences are extremely accepting. I think orchestra admins think they need to program boring because there are loud complainers and the squeaky wheels get the grease. I just don't think that data backs up that approach. The loud complainers are not the majority. (And many people who think of themselves as only wanting to hear music from 100-300 years ago simply don't know how much they will enjoy modern and contemporary composers.) It is the job of the artists to lead the way. We cannot simply supply what our audiences demand, that's how we've gotten into this mess. (On the other hand, if all you ever do is challenge your audience and provide no context or comfort, that's probably even worse.) Programming is tough.
  13. Pinky was just repeating old stereotypes he heard in his youth. Rather stupid and racist of him. Obviously, he knows better. He's been teaching in fancy music schools long enough to recognize that, in fact, the Korean music education system is one of the best in the world. Korean and Korean-American students are overrepresented in the world's top music schools and orchestras. No idea why he would stoop to using racist stereotypes when he could just be ageist instead. "Kids these days don't sing," would have rung very true to me. I think kids aren't singing nearly enough in school. Meanwhile, KPOP is taking the world by storm.
  14. Well, ya learn something every day. It's how Mozart wrote it. It gives the viola a brighter sound, more tension and all those open strings. (I love the piece in normal tuning, but playing it scordatura as intended is a wonderful musical experience.)
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