Andrew Victor

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About Andrew Victor

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  1. What is your opinion of the use of Engelmann spruce for making instruments. The maker of 2 violins and one viola I purchased used Engelmann.
  2. Screpach, Sorry about that - I closed my website(s) when I closed my consultancy. But if I had your email I could send you the bow spreadsheet and whatever else I still have. Andy
  3. I love it too. It is a vocal (soprano) aria from Dvorak's opera Rusalka. The original is in 6 flats. You can find the original soprano part with piano accompaniment on IMSLP here: I do have the music for that solo part (somewhere) for violin. I could probably email it to you (if I find it) if you message me your email address. I have also played the orchestral 1st violin part accompanying the vocal soloist and it is nothing like the solo. I first heard it played on violin by the popular Dutch violinist, André Rieu on FM radio while waiting in the car to pick up our older granddaughter from middle school almost 20 years ago. I bought that Rieu CD right away and also went to my local music store to find the "score." All they had was a single old copy of the vocal with piano accompaniment with a marked price of $20. I talked the owner down to $10 and bought it and (if I recall correctly) transcribed it to a different key (I would have to check that). Nowadays I could just go to IMSLP. EDIT (3 hrs later): I have now searched my shelves and in addition to the link I posted above I have the same solo (violin) part, but in 5 sharps (I find it easier to think 5 sharps than 6 flats). I also found a cello solo part (bass clef) in one sharp. It is clearly not as high as as Capucon's playing, but perhaps once you have one of these you can make your own transposition. So let me hear from you if you want anything directly from me.
  4. Keyboards can be so inexpensive these days that it is worthwhile, I think, to get one of these and start making "music" from the very first second you apply a finger to it. Once you have some musical knowledge that you can gain most easily with a keyboard/piano in front of you, guitar will make all kinds of sense. There are so many additional hurdles to making noises that sound like music on a violin that I would hold back on that until you feel comfortable with the other instruments you like My son played guitar "professionally" right after high school for a couple of years. So did my grandson, in his own band, for 5 years, before finally finishing college. Both of these young men started out on piano when they were young (age 5) and went from there. There musical adventures continue today and likely will as long as they live. By the way, my son took up violin playing in his 40s (about 10 years ago). These days he does a reasonable amount of "open-mike" performance with groups on guitar, bass and violin. Music is really his first love (that and recording) - enough that he is in the process of finishing off the plumbing in a 1,500 sq. ft. recording studio building he had build behind his house.
  5. As a person who plays violin, cello, and viola as an amateur I have no problem with the two higher C clefs in the OP's figure. But I do have a problem reading the alto clef on a cello or the tenor clef on viola. When first I learned to read treble clef on cello I just switched my mind to violin (which I started 10 years earlier) and it was no problem and I still approach it that way now, 70 years later. And a year before that, the first day I got the cello and a month before my first cello lesson, I just read my violin music and played it on cello an octave down (I wish I could still do that as well now). In my experience, professional cellists, at least those who coach string quartets seem able to read the alto (C clef) just fine.
  6. It lets you "turn pages" with your foot and your "blue tooth." First violinist in one of my chamber groups has been reading all his music off a tablet for 2 years.
  7. Try playing your violin upside-down, compare that to playing it rightside-up and divide the difference by 2 - that ought to be like playing in 0-g. I would imagine that if you compared playing with a conventional bow and an ARCUS** in 0-g you would find less difference than on Earth. ** lower weight.
  8. Stringy, the perspective of your demo video makes it impossible to see enough of what you are doing - the camera should be above the instrument (about the level of your head). But I will say this: 1. You have long arms and this makes it difficult to bow "straight" on the stings. If you were playing VIOLA your bowing would be straight (stay in the same place on the strings) because of the better size for your arms - but you are not. So, the way to compensate is to play with violin scroll pointed even further to your left. Be sure your chinrest is comfortable for you. 2. A "Bowright" is a good aid for straightening your bowing. If you get one use it as a guide to directing you as to how to position your violin to aid in keeping your bow "on track." I think that is better than try to use it to direct your right arm in ways that are not natural for you. As soon as you get things lined up remove the Bowright and put it away (don't discard it, you might need it again for some reason). 3. Do not even try to watch your fingers (or even your bow), let what you hear direct what you do - that will help your intonation and rhythm. Listen to what you sound like. Listen to the same music you are trying to play on YouTube and try to emulate the same intonation and tempos 4. I suggest you start every day's practice by playing a 2 octave G major scale with slow "whole bows." Use the whole bow (frog to tip) as slowly as you can. I know it is inspiring to play music you love, but it is important to progress into the music by learning some fundamentals first. I like the Suzuki books as a way to build ability (technique) and used them for the last 30 years that I taught violin and cello lessons. Of course having a teacher will speed the process of avoiding and correcting errors. If you also have the Suzuki CDs you can play along with the recording to check your tempos, rhythm ("counting") and intonation. From watching your brief YouTube it looks to me that playing violin is a thing you will be able to do. I am not a beginner; I have played violin for 81 years and taught violin lessons (as an avocation) for 40 of those years. I also play cello (71 years) and viola (40 years).
  9. That sure is tempting I've got the 11.5 x 15.4 inch volume of BACH Sonatas & Partitas published in 1973 by Paganiniana Publications (enlarged type, Eduard Herrmann, edition) that contains the entire S&P manuscript facimile as the last third of the book. I would sure hate to have to read it from the facilmile.
  10. It seems to me that the music of Bach is marvelous in that so much of it sounds wonderful no matter what instrument it is played on. So whatever you do with your left hand when playing it, it can me marvelous. The difference between playing it in the supposed baroque style and whatever (modern???) can be like the differences available in "museum diving" - (maybe even the difference between ancient cave paintings and baroque paintings or between baroque painting and impressionism). It's all great but some of it is really moving for some people and others for others (different strokes for different folks). Personally, I like the added range of color and volume available with artistic use of vibrato - even with great baroque music.
  11. A friend (clarinetist and Berkeley professor) sent me this truly inspiring video from the Rotterdam Philharmonic that, for me, is an awesome transformation of fear into hope.
  12. All ensemble rehearsals and concerts are cancelled. I'm going back to my "roots." Played through my first cello concerto (Grutzmacher) on Sunday - first time in 70 years. Played through my first viola "concerto" (Mozart Sinfonia Concertante) Monday). Played to play through Mozart violin concerto # 5 today (I've got 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 on the stand). Plan to go the drive-through pharmacy at 8am on Wednesday and pick up prescriptions for the next 90 days - then back to another violin concerto. I'll decide tomorrow. I've got big stacks of these things. Will I ever get back to where I was 69 years ago? No but there is nothing to do for the foreseeable time but try my best.
  13. When my hearing started to fail (in my 50s), and my intonation became "troublesome" as a result**, I used a cheap drugstore ear plug in my left ear when I played. I fitted it loosely so that the sound in my left and right ears were equalized. I calculated that this amounted to about a 12 to 18 DB decrease in the sound getting to my left ear (depends on how you hold your head). This is a very inexpensive way to reduce the loudness of a violin. Alternatively, some musicians purchase "musician's earplugs" that reduce the sound pressure to their ears a specific amount while (supposedly) passing the tembre that is characteristic of the instrument and important to sensitive playing. By using the plug in only one ear I was still able to hear all the tonal qualities my violin produced. ** Overdriving an ear results in hearing the notes as sharp and can result in violinists compensating by playing flat (that is a known and published phenomenon). What happened to me was that I heard the louder tone (from my left ear) as sharp while hearing the softer tone (from my right ear) in tune at the same time and not being able to even tune the strings properly. Even today, when tuning my violin to an oboe (z.b.) I finalize the job by playing my A string in cello position so neither ear hears a louder sound and is overdriven.
  14. I seem to recall a time in my past when I tried to fix whistling E strings by rotating them 360 degrees at the ball end before sticking them in the fine tuner. Has anyone else found that to work?