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Everything posted by JavierPortero

  1. So, here a recording I made on a modern viola copy of the Archinto Stradivari made in 2010 by Martin Gorostiaga in Buenos Aires. The instrument was used extensively since it was fresh from the maker, shows lots of wear now, the oil varnish cracked quite a bit. I agree the sound is not as expansive as the modern Amati copy I have made in Cremona but the Stradivari model is SO easy to play, even across the scale and also exquisite design.
  2. What happened with this project? Great sounding viola models with plans woud be great.
  3. I think is great for a world class string player to perform on a brand new, pristine varnished instrument. Audience don't care if the violin is even a Strad, they are there because of the music or maybe just to be entertained a bit. All instruments were eventually new. I am really thankful to the maker when I comissioned my viola that he didn't wanted to age the instrument. 10 seasons and oil varnish made the instrument look great now.
  4. The Mac Donald, the Medici Tenor and the Archinto
  5. As a player I really like Strad violas, the sound really cuts, they are confortable to play and In my experience with the model they work in a quartet context.
  6. Ciao Manfio, Why you think that happens? An the sound comes from the player I agree... The Mac Donald Strad sounded really different in the hands of Schidloff, David Carpenter and Yehudi Menuhin (Walton concerto).
  7. It is also tricky for the player, totally agree, a great or different bow helps a lot. I find my viola works different in different halls, so sometimes more bow is needed, sometimes more pressure, depending on the acoustics and reverb, sound coming back from the back of the hall etc.
  8. For some reason Stradivari violas are not regarded as model instruments, Some fine players used Stradivari violas with success, some still do: Peter Schidlof and the Mac Donald Stradivari viola William Primrose and the Mac Donald Strad Vengerov and the Archinto Barshai and the Russian Strad viola Antoine Tamestit and the Mahler Strad viola Lech Antonio Uszynski playing the Gibson The great Bruno Giuranna playing the Russian Quartetto di Cremona with the Paganini viola Maybe some more videos are out there, I think the violas sound great...
  9. You feel you cannot play your pieces because? Is it a left hand or bow arm problem? Can you point the tecnical problem? As Stephen said, click by click is fine to speed up. Also two clics up and one down is a good one.
  10. Absolutely! Regretfully I think there are only two Stradivari violas used regularly, the Mahler and the one in Japan played by the violist of the Tokio Quartet... maybe the Gibson is being played also.
  11. Putting together viola music for a YT playlist I came across some interesting and unknown (to me) repertoire: Röntgen viola sonata Joly Braga Santos concerto Jacques Francaix rhapsody for viola and orchestra Hikaru Hayashi concerto Beside this, the Rosza concerto and Martinu Rhapsody are seldom played. Any other viola works we can add to this list?
  12. Violas just are all over on sound and size, still, the main issue is projection of the sound. Few years ago I happened to play in a Gerard Causse masterclass, I was well aware he played a Gasparo, and I have to say I was surprised that some modern violas sound where just louder, no better sounding, just louder than the Gasparo... his playing was first class and the sound of the instrument was complex and a dream to listen to (Larsen A, Oliv D and G, Spirocore C, same as Lawrence Power by the way) Same happened listening to Steven Isserlis playing the Feuerman Stradivari, sounded better but quiet compared to some of the instruments the students played... Regarding viola sound, the difference between a Strad an a del Gesu is less than between a Strad and a Gasparo viola... I see it as a cool thing.
  13. Two years later I can give you my opinión as a player. I comissioned and played for 7 years a modern Stradivari model viola, the instrument is a copy on the Archinto viola with a Niccolo Amati model scroll. The reason I comisioned this violas was that at the time I was playing a 1972 Horacio Pineiro viola, Andrea Amati model, 16.5 inches and I wanted a more responsive instrument. The Pineiro viola succeeded on producing a good viola tone but bowingwise it was a bit slow responding and heavy sounding, that plus long orchestra seasons got me into thinking about going for a diferent viola model. I comissioned the strad model viola, moved by the amazing rendition Maxim Vengerov made of the Walton concierto playing on the RAM Archinto Stradivari. We decided to make a violin like head, no shoulders as the original model, and the maker choose a Niccolo Amati scroll. Best material were used for the construction and a golden oil varnish covered the instrument. After a long wait I recieved the new viola and it was quite a change, totally different sound, cannot say better or worse, just different. I played on this instrument non stop for seven years mostly on the orchestra seasons but also in chamber music and eventually in solo performances. So, I would say the model is really good for playing in the orchestra, you can hear yourself clearly, is not really loud but clear and focused sound, also playability is better since is not a heavy sounding instrument, bowling comes out easy. In chamber music or small groups I feel the instrument is wanting something, specially if you play second viola. It can sound a bit trebly. I think the best used for this particular viola is to play solo. in the end I came back to play an Amati viola model, got a modern Cremona brothers Amati model, mainly because I started missing the fuller tone I had with the Piñeiro, still the Strad model is a keeper, right now on loan to a university student.
  14. On the other side it is enteresting to read in the Hill's book about Stradivarius, incluso Flesch Art of the violín and on Heifetz promo film about using a practice instrument and giving rests to fine imstruments.
  15. Please excuse my rusty english... I've thinking about this, recently I tuned my seldom used violin (I am a professional violist) into a baroque pitch (415) and started thinking on how different intonations during different musical periods affected the tone of the now old string instruments. It is interesting to note that scordatura and lower pitch make the instrument vibrate and sound in a different way and standard modern pitch IMHO makes the instrument to sound tight and less harmonic. How can this affect the maturing of an instrument. Just a thought
  16. William Primrose used the McDonald in his recording of Berlioz Harold in Italy. Vengerov recording of the Walton viola concerto was done playing the Archinto Stradivari. I also like Tabea Zimermann's Etienne Vatelot viola... made in the 80s and given to her as a prize, currently still uses that instrument as a first choice.
  17. Peter Schidloff used a Stradivari viola during his days with the Amadeus Quartet, did really a great job sitting in the mix of the string quartet. Stradivari violas have their own distinctive sound, very different from the usual dark and deep viola tone but certainly a Strad viola con do the job.