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About Zeissica

  • Birthday 10/28/1966

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    Albuquerque, NM
  • Interests
    Violin & Viola playing, astronomy, audio, family & friends.

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  1. Wow - very impressive. I wasn't familiar with this work before - definitely interesting! The playing is truly outstanding. And, from memory!
  2. I've been using the "Tonal Energy Tuner" app for a similar purpose. It definitely helps the player focus on note that might be really out of tune. I typically keep mine set to Equal Temperament, but also it is important to know that often, we as string players need to play outside of that. For playing with a pianist, equal temperament is recommended, since that's how pianos are normally tuned. But in a string quartet, melodies can deviate from that quite a bit, and chords can tend towards just intonation, as well - it just sounds better that way. Another related thought, though, is that once a student (or ourselves) get to where we play nicely in tune to a tuner, we have to move beyond that and really listen as we play. Listen for, resonance, harmonics and sympathetic vibrations, listen for Tartini Tones, etc. Some programs teach things things early which I think is a huge advantage. I didn't learn it when young, but learning it it recently has definitely improved my sense of pitch while playing.
  3. Zeissica

    E strings

    My friend who plays on a nice JBV violin had a heck of a time with whistling on the PI E string when we were doing some recording - he ended going back to the Pirastro Evahs, including the Gold E.
  4. I don't think "just practice" is good advice without some specifics of what, mechanically, might help. That's what teachers are for, and the best ones are great at fine tuning hand, arm, and instrument angles & body position just to solve those issues. The problems and challenges are different for everyone. I think the advice to consider "reaching down with the 2nd finger to play the C natural" is good advice. The idea of "where the hand is balanced" comes to mind - many violists with smaller hands will balance their left hand either on the 2nd finger or perhaps alternate between the 2nd and 3rd finger, depending, whereas many violinists "anchor" on the 1st finger (Julian Rachlin is a big proponent of this). My 4th finger, while not as short as the OPs, still gives me plenty of challenges with reaches, particularly in half and first position (I play on a 16-5/16" viola). People often assume that because I'm tall, I should play on a bigger instrument, but these days, I'm hearing more often that anything above 16" is already considered "a bigger viola". Seems everyone wants a really small viola that sounds great. I can understand that!
  5. Yes - I obsessed on that one for many years - wrote a paper on it, even. I read somewhere that he considered it his favorite quartet.
  6. Yes! That is right up there near the top of my list, too. Fantastic piece of music. And the 2nd movement is divine, for sure.
  7. That's a tough one! SO many to choose from... If forced to choose, for Movement I'd have to say Beethoven Op. 53 #3 finale movement. Overall chamber work? Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence.
  8. I've always thought of a "strong" instrument as one that has a lot of sound output, i.e. "loud".
  9. Otter, many of the suggestions from 20 years ago in the above thread should provide a good starting point. Yes, usually, a bass player can read cello lines, although in some parts, the low D and C (for the cello) will not be playable on the bass since the lowest note is an E.
  10. Here's a video of Gil Shaham playing the Chaconne - it appears to be on his Gaybaryan violin.
  11. The piano trio repertoire is huge and excellent - it's one thing I miss out on as a (primarily) violist! I'd suggest looking at the early Beethoven trios (op. 1), or maybe even better perhaps those by Haydn (C major, D major, G major) to get your bearings before jumping into Schumann, for instance.
  12. Likewise, the Santa Fe Opera premiers a new opera every two years, and often stages "modern" operas. This summer, along with Eugene Onegin and Marriage of Figaro, they staged a new production of Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream, and premiered the new opera "Lord of Cries" by Corigliano. And, even with traditional operas, they do new things with staging and costuming. Eugene Onegin was a fabulous production - amazing visuals along with the fantastic singers and orchestra. They don't seem to have any trouble selling tickets.
  13. The book by Leopold Auer "Violin Playing as I Teach It" includes material on phrasing. Also, Galamian's book "Principals of VIolin: Playing & Teaching" also covers phrasing.
  14. Or start talking once you have finished tuning your instrument.
  15. Reminds me of the Richard Strauss quote "Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them". But I like your approach - one conductor I had often said something to the brass like "concentrate on intonation and tone, not volume" and it worked.
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