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Andrew Victor

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  1. I have not bought any bows or cases item from a fiddle shop this century without haggling. It has paid off. I have not bargained on string prices or the instruments I bought because I thought the prices listed were fair and OK for me for what I was getting.
  2. They seem to be in Slovakia (country code: 421) and have an internet presence and advertise some low-price violin cases on line.
  3. Try this: https://violininformation.webs.com/tradeinstruments.htm
  4. A believe a good technician will rehair a bow with consideration of the stick stiffness. A softer (i.e, more flexible) stick should have less hair than a stiffer stick). I think there an optimal stretching of the hairs of a tightened bow for best performance, although it will depends on the kind of bowing one is doing. Askenfelt has published the Young's modulus of bow-quality horse hair which will can be used tor elate stretching to bow stiffness. My "experiments" about 22 years ago convinced me that about 0.5 mm of strain per meter of hair is about the right amount of stretching for optimum tone. My crude measurements of hair stretch vs.force agreed with Askenfelt's.
  5. Some instruments are indeed finicky! One of my 16-inch violas has been tolerant of every set I have installed since I bought it in 1973 - even a set of Spirocores that I selected specifically to match the tensions equally (as nearly as possible) to test a statement by James Beament that that was not good (in his book "The Violin Explained"). It was good, is good! My other 16-inch viola is very picky and works very well (at least, best ever since I boubht it new from the maker in 1996) with Pirastro Permanent D & G strings and Dominant Weich A & C. This balances the tensions in a way suggested by a violist working at at Ifshin Violins who played it and suggested that sort of balance of string tensions for this instrument.
  6. About 58 years ago, the first time I ever heard the great Schubert C major quintet, I was sight reading the 2nd cello part and when we hit "B," the passage in the first movement starting at measure 58, I started to tear up so profusely that I had to stop playing and wipe my eyes. (Maybe it was just an excuse to play it again.) I have played that music a number of times since (eventually all the parts, most recently, viola) and the harmonies of that melody always get to me, although never again that strongly but always recalling that evening so long ago.
  7. I was instructed to play with a "low-side thumb" in first position and a "higher-side thumb in 3rd position" and allowed to "fly-free" above that. I was young and smaller in those years, however I have tended to keep playing those ways. But sometimes I vary it, especially as increasing age continues to limit what my body can endure. I have noticed that Perlman plays with his thumb a bit higher, perhaps to compensate for his large hand and fingers. I played under a concertmaster for 16 years who definitely played with her thumb under the neck and had a lovely vibrato. She had small hands. A very good teacher would work with students to optimize all things about their violin-playing posture including all things about their left and right hands, violin position, chinrest, shoulder rest, etc. Such a teacher would notice everything that was going on, even muscle strain under the skin, and notice those things right away. Poorer teachers often try to mold their students in their own image no matter how much it ill-fits some students. At least, that is my opinion. If you are an adult trying to work this out on your own, all you can do is experiment until you find what works best for you. The teacher route can be much more efficient - but it has to be the right non-parochial teacher. I think the path you are taking by using all possible means to observe what others do is admirable, but let your own body parts instruct you!
  8. Can you work it out from this?: https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/1/12/IMSLP458289-PMLP743725-LysenkoPieces.pdf
  9. Who said "I love Martians, they are delicious!"?
  10. You can always count on a paper if you see Woodhouse's name on it. I look forward to reading it. It was published the month before I retired.
  11. I often find that when it just does not feel like the right time to practice, the best thing I can do is get out bow and fiddle, start with a 3 octave G major scale and prove that I was wrong. Turns out it was a great time to practice!
  12. I have been a member of a small (30 piece maximum) conductor-less chamber orchestra since 2012, when it was founded. Almost all of the music we have played (and performed) was downloaded from IMSLP.org. I suggest starting there and see what fits your instrumentation. We have been charging our player-members $25 per month to pay our concertmaster a nominal "honorarium." We have also raised enough money to purchase a Mozartly-sufficient set of tympani and we have managed to get a harpist to join with us when needed. (We are fortunate to be in the near "suburbs" of San Francisco which is rich in classical musicians and we draw on musicians from the other sides of 2 bridges.) Before COVID we gave 3 to 5 performances annually. Monetary donations at our performances have gone to humanitarian charities of the local church where we have performed. Our rehearsals and some of our performances were at a community center until they started rehabilitation construction over 3 years ago. During the summers we continued weekly rehearsals and tried "new" music to figure out the next season and to give members and others, who so wished, a chance to solo with an orchestra. Some of those solos later became part of our concert schedule. We are the Lucas Vallley Chamber Orchestra and one of our performances might still be viewable on YouTube. EDIT: I guess not -just checked and the full length performance that was semi-professionally recorded is no longer there but some snippets of other performances are. With the exception of one well-attended "rehearsal" in June 2021 we have not met since March 10, 2020. We were planning to resume "post-COVID" rehearsals in April (next month) but a survey of email responses predicts a serious decline in leader-capable violinists and milder declines in violists and cellists - our wonderful wind blowers have remained firmly in the fold. Wish us luck. If you are near us consider joining. We are mostly older people and rehearse on Tuesday mornings
  13. FBTV - to answer your question it depends on the repertoire and or ensemble available to play with. During the COVID pandemic I have mostly practiced violin.
  14. I think, first of all, it's a matter of what seems most natural to your hand/finger size and lengths of your arm segments. If you find bow holds that work for you on your instruments, who cares what names they have been given. If I take a clue from your pseudonym here, mine would be FromViolinToCelloToViola. So I guess I have 3 bow holds (more or less) and so far I've been at this game for 83 years of my life. And, of course, parts of some music require variations on whatever bowhold one thinks they use.
  15. You might check with your luthier to learn if there is a practical way to shorten the vibrating string length a bit (such as move the bridge and sound post but still retain the instruments best playing and sound characteristics). If it works you will have a solution, if it doesn't just reverse it.
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