Andrew Victor

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  1. A combination of adjusting your wrist as "Violin Beautiful" suggests and changing the direction the scroll is pointing might also be helpful, but might be problematic if you use a rigid shoulder rest.
  2. MANFIO, I purchased the "Glory of Cremona" LP (new) over 40 years ago while my ears were still young-ish and was able to listen to it on my ("big-box) JBL speaker system with Fischer (tube, push-pull) amplifier (before a house fire took out its tubes and I could never get a good tube match and switched to a solid-state amp that could never match it) and and concluded the Bergonzi was the best and most interesting sounding violin in that collection (as played by Ricci). What is your opinion?
  3. Much of the sound of any instrument comes from the mind and hands of the player. Jack Benny played a Stradivarius! I never heard him live, but from what I heard on radio and later TV he could have saved the $25,000 (in those 1940-'60 year dollars, probably 100x more now) and done as well with $100 (today's dollars) - if he found a decent one.
  4. I believe there will be 4 of them: 1. Vivaldi 2. Bach 3. Scarlatti 4. Handel Definitely worth the time. They also announced they are available on Amazon Prime.
  5. It will cost more for a decent rehair than it will to by a new SHAR fusion bow. Take all your stuff with you when you go to the luthier and get his recommendation. Try different bows on the fiddle. A CF or fusion (or other composite) bow should be adequate. Use decent rosin - best to be one that is somewhat protected from childhood accidental bumps and drops.
  6. Different people seem to have different capacities for memorization and different approaches. I have a lousy memory. That's why I gave up chemistry and became a physicist. I've played the violin for 80 years and the only things I ever memorized were the two pieces I played in front of an orchestra 30 or 40 years ago. I only memorized them because I practiced them so much and had loved them so long. Even so I performed them with the music in front of me - I just didn't look at it very much during the performance. I have known musicians who could look at two pages of music and then play them from memory (photographic memory). They had such a leg up when it comes to becoming professional musicians (which they were). It is also a way music teachers can cull their flocks. I know there is value in committing music to memory but I think the value depends on your goals and how much you have to work at memorizing vs. spending the time and effort on music making. It is a choice one makes and one I made a long time ago and that has allowed me to play so very much music - my music shelves are overloaded and my mind is empty (which it would likely be at my age anyway).
  7. "Tuning a string quartet" is a practical step for string players learning to appreciate the problems of temperament and intonation. A dozen years ago I played in a amateur string quartet that hired a professional to coach us for 4 rehearsal sessions preparing for a performance. The ACMP offered financial assistance to hire coaches for ensembles with members that belonged to the ACMP - so all 4 of us joined. There are excellent books about temperament and intonation. To appreciate the need to understand the problems to some degree all one needs to do is listen to any average amateur string quartet play Mozart. You can tell usually something is wrong. Now to find out what and why!
  8. OK - back with more review of DEJA "Soloist" rosin. I now conclude this stuff is quite unique in my experience. I have long felt that an ideal rosin would have static friction (that pulls (and pushes) the string and thus creates the vibration and sound - the bigger the displacement the louder the sound) in proportion to the pressure applied to the string by downward force as well as by the speed of the bow and sliding friction (that damps the string vibration during the slip phase) of zero. I feel this rosin comes closer to that than any I have tried in the past 20 years (maybe 70) - it's not something I am equipped to actually measure. So I upgrade it in my estimation from 4 to 5 stars. I think it will bring out overtones from any instrument very well and this should promote "projection," but I have not tried it in a large hall. On my cellos (and with the 3 bows I tried) it brings out the upper octaves of the C string like no other rosin I have tried.
  9. Minkey, I think it is common practice (by some) when a bow is rehaired and then prerosined by the rehairer, powdered rosin made as you described is applied - often unless the customer specifically requests it not be done. at least that seemed to be the case many years ago when I first had to pay for my own bows to be rehaired. I have always preferred not to have that done, but instead to always do my own initial rosining and know what rosins are on my bows.
  10. I would expect any bow stamped "GERMANY" to have been produced specifically for the US or UK market. My W. Seifert viola bow has no other stamped identification than "W SEIFERT"
  11. I thought some more about my trial of DEJA Rosin the other day and checked the surface of the cake and realized that not much rosin had been removed from the cake when I rosined my bows. So I "scored" the surface of the cake by gently cutting a "square grid" pattern in the surface and tried it again with the same violin and viola bows. The result was a very nice and very rich tone on both instruments. (Scoring the surface of a new rosin cake is not something I usually (if ever) do. Probably should have tried it with that old Liebenzeller-I cake 50 years ago. I might try that if it's still around.) I have not tested the DEJA playing qualities for a typical "set" duration of say 2 hours, but based on the short-term result the DEJA ROSIN seems to be a good deal, especially for the price and size of the cake. I will keep playing with it on the bows to see how well it holds up and report more at a later time. EDIT: I've kept DEJA rosin on the bows the last couple of days and it seems to keep its character very well. I give it 4 stars (out of 5 maximum). It has gotten very hot here in CA the past few days (~100°F) so it's had a pretty good test/
  12. I never have worried about what I look like when I play - and it shows! Damn those new cell phones, anyway!! Glad I didn't know when it mattered. At least I played in a tux!
  13. I should add to my 2000 post that the person who thought my L. Seifert bow was my best violin bow was the (now late) Henry Meissner a California violin maker and violin/viola player. It was at the time I had him give my insurance evaluations for all my instruments and bows. He played a marvelous sautille with my L. Seifert violin bow. This was before I had bought the W Seifert viola bow, which to me was a better bow. I had bought the *** L Seifert from SHAR at the time the catalog had it priced at around $60 but by the time it arrived the Euro had gone crazy and I think it cost me $180. It was evaluated for insurance by Meissner in 1980 for $550.
  14. I TOOK A 2nd LOOK AT DEJA SOLOIST ROSIN 5 DAYS LATER - CHECK MY ADDED COMMENTS IN A LATER POST (on Sunday, Aug. 11). My cake of Deja "Soloist" Rosin arrived yesterday. It is a neat cylindrical cake, of 3/4" thickness and 1.5" diameter a substantial size. It is nicely packaged in an aluminum case that holds the rosin and its attached cloth. I find this case particularly nice because the top is threaded: a much better idea (in my experience) than the friction fit cases that come with "Old Master" or "Baker's" rosins for two reasons (1) the threading makes the cylinder less likely to deform and (2) threaded tops go on and off more easily than the friction-fit ones. The rosin itself is not too soft or too hard (may tend toward the harder end of the usual range)**. I tested it on 3 bows, one each violin, viola, and cello and played on the appropriate instruments. I feel I do not get as much low tone as I get with my usual "Leatherwood (supple)" rosins - but then Deja rosin lists for 1/6 the price Leatherwood (the most expensive rosin I've ever seen). On the other hand I thought I got more higher register output with the Deja rosin and on the cello I got better responsiveness in the higher octaves of the lowest (C) string than any other rosin has given me with this bow.### I removed what rosin I could from each of the bows with a microfiber cloth before rosining generously with Deja. Then I removed the Deja and re-rosined the bows with the appropriate violin, viola, and cello (supple) "Leatherwood" rosin and played each instrument again immediately after playing it with the Deja rosin. I essentially played a 3 octave scale on each instrument (4 on the cello) and also some "noodling." It will take me more time to decide how and when to use the Deja rosin. * *Hard rosin? In the 1960s I bought a cake of Liebenzeller gold I (for violin) and felt it was like trying to rosin my bow on a stone. I never did use it. It was another 30 years before I tried Liebenzeller again - that time grades II, III, and IV - and did use those rosins for about 10 years until Tartini (and later Andrea that replaced it) was marketed. Deja is not that hard. ### The state of my hearing must be taken into account. I wear hearing aids in both ears. Without them I am very hard of hearing. Even with them I do not have a full spectrum of normal hearing.
  15. My eyes usually close shortly after a concert begins - been that way for at least 50 years! Before that I wanted to see how they made the music as long as it did not distract from the music. I did learn a few things about better bowing.