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About LvB

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  1. LvB

    Baroque performance practice or not?

    Note that many of the piano and forte markings in the Preludio of the E major Partita (including several in the pattern that you described: loud, then soft on the repeat) were original to Bach's manuscript (the edition I use, Szeryng's, notates original dynamics using non-italic p's and f's). I think that at least somewhat indicates that it was indeed a Baroque performance practice.
  2. Wonderful playing Stephen. On the topic of the Bach suites, any violists have a favorite edition? I have the Primrose, but can't say I'm a huge fan. If I had to say why, it's probably that I end up scratching my head at some of the fingerings and bowings. They don't seem logical to me. In contrast I have the Szeryng edition of the Bach violin sonatas & partitas and have learned so much from his fingerings and feel like I'm a better player for having studied it. Would love to find an edition like that for the viola (cello) suites.
  3. LvB

    How far can I get at this age?

    I'd say there's a lot of value to learning and playing the Bach S & P's even if you never get them to performance-worthy level. I've been working on movements with no goal of performing them, simply because I so enjoy playing them. And I've found that my technique and intonation has improved in the process.
  4. LvB

    Sihon mute is industrial art

    I briefly used one on my viola when playing in the pit for a musical that called for a lot of going back and forth with the mute. By the end of the first weekend (2 rehearsals and 3 shows), it had really eaten up the winding on the strings. Had to replace the strings and the mute. Probably not an issue for the normal frequency of mute use in most repertoire though. Neat mutes though. Because of the degree to which they can deaden the afterlength vibrations (depending on where it's placed when not in use), I found it could even serve a double function as a wolf eliminator (this viola had a nasty one on F#'s in every position).
  5. Your gut feeling is correct. Each of the 3 recordings I listened to from your links actually held the last note in m. 5 four beats typically. That, and the look of the score you linked to led me to believe that the score is probably just a poor transcription of the original carol. If you do a Google image search of the carol, you'll find images of other editions of sheet music for the carol, and they're significantly different. The ones I saw were in more of a fluid time signature, alternating between 3/2 and 4/4, with most of them having the last note of the phrase being a whole note (confirming that the note is supposed to be held for four beats). Oh yes definitely, I would say that thinking of how you would sing a phrase is often one of the best ways to figure out how to phrase something on the violin. Lifting the bow and letting the string ring is one option, depending on the situation. I wouldn't do it in this case, where the last note is long, and there's a new phrase immediately following the end of the phrase. In this case, I would taper the end of the phrase, i.e. diminuendo on the long note. What you don't want is a solid block of one dynamic, cutting off the note abruptly by stopping the bow. That tends to be ugly and unmusical (and typically what beginners would do).
  6. I agree with Jane, but the only thing I'd add is that I think I do like the shift to half position for the arpeggio, at least, air fingering it here without a viola in my hand. Feels a bit easier, letting you use an open D string, and play the B-D-C#-A# sequence all on the A string.
  7. LvB


    Yikes. I'm not sure what I said, but I'm sorry to have ticked you off. I'll just be quiet now.
  8. LvB


    Point taken. But you all are such a fountain of knowledge, I figured I'd get more educational replies here. Apologies if I used the incorrect terminology. I thought that's how you're supposed to refer to lots for which you were the bidder with the highest amount.
  9. LvB


    I recently bought a nice old viola at auction (Tarisio). It was described as "good", and "by" the maker on the label. I won it for a price within the estimate range. Tarisio offers an insurance appraisal service, so I figured why not save myself a trip to a shop and just have them appraise it. Here are my questions: Are insurance appraisals supposed to be for the replacement cost at retail? Is it fair to assume that the retail price for an instrument should be a decent amount greater than the auction estimate range? The reason I ask is that the insurance appraisal came in at roughly what I paid including fees, plus about 10%. I'm not a dealer, or someone in the business, but that strikes me as quite low, if it is indeed a retail replacement cost. As a point of comparison, I found violins by this maker for sale online, with one even made in the same year, for more than twice what I won the viola for. There are no major condition issues with the viola, and the appraisal even described it as in "excellent" condition. And given that the lot was described as "by" the maker, and "good" that eliminates authenticity and quality as factors in the valuation. So I'm wondering if the appraisal I got was for the auction/wholesale replacement cost instead of retail cost. Just wondering if I should get a second opinion for insurance valuation, since if I ever were to lose this viola, I would most likely replace it at a retail violin dealer. Thanks!
  10. Out of curiosity, how do you get the eyelet out if it's corroded to the point where it doesn't turn?
  11. If that is the case, what can you do? Is there a way to replace the eyelet?
  12. LvB

    Wolf Hunting! Yikes!

    Both of my violas have their wolf tone on F#. One of them has it on every F#, including the one in first position (really annoying). With the other, it's pretty minor--in fact I'd probably classify it as a pup. In the latter case, and for many other instruments I've tried, oftentimes the first position note (in my experience typically between B and C# on the A string for violins, and F# on the D string for the relatively few violas I've tried) is not a full-blown wolf, but the note does exhibit a subtly different tone quality than the surrounding ones. Louder, more blaring, harsher, but without the characteristic warbling. My violin has a wolf on the high C on the G string, with the D and A string versions of that note simply having the harsher tone quality, as I described. I've found that most of the violins and violas I've tried range anywhere from having the subtly different tone quality on that wolf-range note, to having a full blown wolf in first position (this is very bad, of course). Few violins I've tried have no trace of wolfiness at all.
  13. LvB

    Screaming For Science

    Not sure if this was already mentioned but younger people also have much higher sensitivity to high frequencies. It could be that by choosing dark sounding instruments, that they're picking instruments that sound to them, like a brighter instrument sounds to an older player who has lost some of that high frequency sensitivity.
  14. LvB

    Antiqued or Straight?.....Both!

    With suspension cases, chin rests, and shoulder rests the norm now, will violins 100 years from now even show any varnish wear (aside from maybe where the left hand meets the body)?
  15. Yep, was just being a smart arse.