Herman West

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About Herman West

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  1. Herman West

    Another violin ID quiz

    There are only so many "antique" "name" instruments that can realistically serve as retirement investments. If most A-list orchestral string players own such instruments, and (of course) soloists do too, the question rears its head where all these name antiques are coming from. Or whether some people are falling for the marketing... That doesn't mean these instruments aren't totally delightful to play on.
  2. Herman West

    Another violin ID quiz

    the sad thing is marketing and hype is so prevalent in this business that even rank amateurs are sounding like marketing flaks. The whole notion that A-list soloists by definition play on Strads or Guarneris is circular marketing thinking. I.e. if you want people to think you've made the A-list you need to advertise yourself as having "fallen in love at first sight" with a Strad. You don't have to think what you're going to say; the copy is available at the violin dealer. Same with the ridiculous story about the Vienna Philharmonic having switched to a factory made type of violin. No doubt an ad picture was made with a bunch of VPO string players and Yamaha copy. But, seriously, the idea that these free individuals playing at the top of their profession will put their own, cherished instruments in the closet and change these for a anonymous instrument is just ridiculous.
  3. Herman West

    Which violin to choose

    With all due respect, there are too many irrational impulses here to ever make a prudent investment choice. Just any 'old' violin doesn't equal a golden age Cremona violin that will indeed be a good investment. The violins you were taking seriously have no proven provenance, whoch disqualifies them as an investment. Going to London to pick a violin is a bad idea. London is one of the more expensive towns; you do not have the option to try the violin at home and bring it back, and there's added costs of travel and customs. Last but not least, the whole idea that violins will keep appreciating is iffy. You have sufficient funds to buy a nice violin and bow. Why don't you do just that?
  4. Herman West

    Hahn Pizzicato

    My, this music is a lot similar, in sound, melody and character to Glazunov's magnificent ballet score 'Raymonda,' which only lasts three hours or so...
  5. Herman West

    Which violin to choose

    Exactly. OP needs to get rid of the idea that an antique violin is necessarily better than a new(ish) one, which absolutely does not apply to the price range mentioned.
  6. Herman West

    Which violin to choose

    you can get a good violin for that kind of money, devoid of cracks. keep looking. and don't be shy to go to a reputable violin shop.
  7. Herman West

    Violin ID

    For praise that it's really, really old?
  8. Herman West

    Kid tripping to Hamburg. Violin shops?

    reminds me of a guy telling me Sweden had such an excellent highway infrastructure, I really should go, he'd been there himself. I asked him when. He said 1960... The unmentioned thing is what happens at customs when you're basically exporting / importing a German-bought instrument (with possibly rosewood parts). And is the kid getting an extra seat on the flight back for this cello, or is it going to be chucked in the near freezing baggage hold on the plane?
  9. Herman West

    Mysterious Joseph Dalagio Fecit in Mantua

    And so do hundreds of thousands 19th century German made-by-the-dozen fiddles, the same Strad label.
  10. Herman West

    Mysterious Joseph Dalagio Fecit in Mantua

    Better reverse that opening statement. "The label is no evidence for identification, though some people disagree with this."
  11. Herman West

    How Do You Make a Violin More Responsive, More Expressive?

    A very good musician can make even a mediocre violin amazing, so the answer to your question is: good playing can make a violin more responsive.
  12. Herman West

    Mysterious Joseph Dalagio Fecit in Mantua

    the word "mysterious" again! the entire "mystery" consists of pasting a fake label in a beat-up old violin.
  13. Herman West

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    There is so much circular reasoning in this; it doesn't work that way. You leave out all the mediocre sounding Strads to begin with. You leave out the fact that Strads are almost exclusively played by the best soloists who could make any instrument sound fabulous. You leave out that no instruments have been cared for better than Strads.
  14. Herman West

    Is there arising a crisis in the antique violins market ?

    you seemd to say you liked Perlman when he was playing the violin with Zukerman assisting. I may have been joking.
  15. Herman West

    Is there arising a crisis in the antique violins market ?

    But that's not fair if the other violinists have to play by themselves.