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  1. Plain gut strings are not less responsive than wound gut strings are -- they are differently responsive. They speak a milisecond slower, which is an easy compensation to make, so no net loss. They also allow (or require if you like) more bow pressure, which makes for easier control of fine detais without squashing or choking.
  2. When you have it stained (by whatever method) as black as you want it (or can get it), paint it with thin cyanoacrylic glue. When dry, 3,200 grit micromesh and repeat (don't tack it between coats -- you want the dust in the pores). Once it looks like shiny plastic, the surface is sealed. Final 3,200 grit for a matte surface, and there you are. FWIW
  3. Tone color and playing characteristics are all very well in isolation (whether in a room or in a hall). But for people like the Poggi owner A-listers, the acid test is the way a fiddle cuts through a wall of piano/orchestral " support." That one characteristic that makes or breaks a soloist's spare instrument is, not surprisingly, getting ignored. (How often is it considered as a specific characteristic ?) Arguably, the most gorgeous sound in the violin world is that of an A&H Amati. (It is for me, anyway. De gustibus non disputandem). But nobody would choose one as a recital/concerto instrument. The first 30 seconds, people hear (and register) the voice quality of the violin being played. After that they hear the music, with the voice just being what's delivering it.
  4. Aaron Rosand played his Poggi after he sold the Kochansky GdG and nobody complained. Nathan Milstein's Poggi was recently on offer. Poggi had an impressive A-list client roster (Oistrakh, Stern et al). FWIW
  5. Happy Easter indeed !
  6. The violin in the video doesn't look as elongated as those illustrated as typical, "long Strad model" Buchstetters. Trick of perspective ?
  7. Bill Salchow's practive, which he learned in Mirecourt, was to dribble some alcohol on the head end of the blank, looking for bubbles, before doing anything with it. Bubbles indicate a shake/incipient crack. No bubbling = a (presumably) sound head area. FWIW.
  8. Objection. I've never said "proof." In fact, I've been careful to eschew any implication that "proof" was even possible.
  9. Sure. Not sure of proper title; first line "Boy, boy, crazy boy . . . stay cool, boy!" Pure Skitch Henderson suavity.
  10. de gustibus non disputandem. By way of response, it may or may not be significant that neither Skitch nor Mitch seemed shocked by my implication that LB had not composed it, or protested that he could have -- another necessarily inconclusive) conclusion drawn from silence, or a reinforcement of the first one. IOW, you disagree with the idea that he couldn't have composed it, while they didn't. FWIW (if anything).
  11. A musical masterpiece to be sure. Near and dear to my heart. But I could never "see" Bernstein composing it -- clever and intelligent as he was, and musically adept, it always struck me that whoever wrote it must have been much older, and a lot deeper, than good old Lenny the flakey wunderkind. That incongruity bugged me to the point where I finally asked Skitch Henderson if he had ghost written it. He deflected the question, pointing out that Ferde Grofe, as was well known, had helped with the orchestration. Mitch Miller ducked it as well. Which doesn't mean anything, necessarily. But I still, all these yeats later, don't think LB's head ever got to the places some of that music came from.
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