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Posts posted by Arbos

  1. 9 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

    And what did he mean by that? Was he being literal? That’s highly doubtful. Was he being cultural? I have had dozens of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other Asian students, and none of them, not one, ever sang unless they did so in church.

    My American students refuse to sing, my Spanish ones don’t. My theory is that while in the US music is taught primarily through the instrument, in Spain they learn solfege and choir from the beginning. But I would never say “Americans can’t sing”.


    I can’t say whether Zukerman is racist or not, but this was not the first time he has mimicked random “Asian” sounds or reproduced stereotypes. Since I am Spanish I’m sure he’d told me to be more passional when I play, or something like that. I am just surprised at how the world works. Why did this particular occasion deserve such a response, and why are people acting surprised and offended *now*, when he’s done the same thing so many times?

  2. How do you know what the “good” ones are? Doesn’t taste count? I tried a 1689 Strad that I liked a lot (and supposedly those are not as good as the Golden Period ones) and then I was not impressed with the del Gesu “Mary Portman” that was played by Kreisler.


    Also I am not trying to say that everybody in this business acts foolishly, but sometimes I wish people were more naive and just bought what they liked. That would be a more sensible decision than purchasing the copy of what a soloist likes.

  3. I still can’t understand how trying to copy a particular instrument down to the smallest detail and promising that it will look and sound almost like the original (which the buyer probably has never played) can be a viable business strategy. I guess the idea is that if you play like Heifetz (you don’t) your violin won’t hold you back because it is just like his (it isn’t)!

  4. 10 hours ago, Violadamore said:


    Nah.  Electronic instruments will be the new "rubbish", and stuff you currently consider firewood will be selling for as much as an asteroid mining rig.  :P  :lol:

    I can’t wait to see awfully antiqued Chinese instruments from the 2000’s for $20000 each. Oh, and then the threads on Maestronet asking whether a particular example is real!

  5. Well, I don’t make instruments, I was just curious! Seeing how the change in models come from players’ preferences I wonder whether modern taste would mean a change in model. It seems to me that innovation in violin making can be found in more precise copying and new strings. 


    Indeed, viola making is a field more open to change and innovation.

  6. Makers of the past tended to copy Amati and Stainer, but at some point everybody starting copying Stradivari and, a little later, Guarneri del Gesu. The most accepted theory is that it happened because these models give a more powerful sound, more suitable for the music of the time. Where do you all see the violin going in the future? It seems like del Gesu has displaced Stradivari as the most inspiring or copied maker these days and I wonder if in a hundred years people will be copying Balestrieri, for example.

  7. Your bow hold and elbow height are very beautiful and remind me of the great violinists of the past. Something that helps me with intonation is relating fingers to open strings when I can form perfect intervals. For example, on the D string I can do first finger E with open A (perfect fourth), third finger G with open G and fourth finger A with open A. It has helped me tremendously!

  8. On 2/9/2021 at 11:31 AM, martin swan said:

    I suppose this is being presented as something like Pelizon?

    Personally I don't see anything in this violin that would make me think "Italian". It seems to be something made by a very able woodworker, but I can't see any signs of a particular tradition.

    The maker struggled with the c bouts, which are unusually open and also asymmetrical (and not in a good way).

    The f-holes are disproportionately long (these two things in conjunction make it look a bit like a cut down viola).

    The recurve on the arching is very exaggerated to a point which must jeopardise the strength of the arching - it can surely not be good for the tone either. Incidentally this proves that it isn't a cut down viola, rather an ill-conceived violin, since one of the most common features of a cut-down is the lack of any recurve.

    Ebay and the internet have caused this kind of violin to whizz around the globe, but at one time it would have been safe to say that it was probably made within 50 miles or so of where it was found.


    Very interesting, thanks!

  9. Considering that most of us don’t have very good recording equipment and an orchestra to play with, this video is an interesting opportunity to learn a little bit about how a soloist sounds on a phone without accompaniment and compare it to our own practice. I have enjoyed and appreciated Hahn’s practice videos for the same reason and it is absolutely true that the bow noise fades really quickly in the hall. Nevertheless she is rather crunchy, as you can hear in all her recordings!


    I really don’t think that this (or her practice journal) is a self-aggrandizing gesture. For someone with a reputation of perfection, who  allegedly even counts the number of oscillations in her vibrato, playing a concerto WITHOUT the orchestra is a huge risk and she does miss some notes here and there, which is harder to notice when the orchestra is playing. 

  10. I watched the masterclasses and got the book and I have to say that it is really fantastic. Once you get the concept the book does get repetitive but I still think it is a great way to get a better sound and more variety of colors. For me the biggest lesson has been to always keep a fifth somewhere (usually it is the first finger, of course) for more agile fingering. I also like his idea that color comes from the left hand, although I recognize it is limited.

  11. Whenever I listen to a test like this I focus on choosing the one I like the most, not the one I think is a Strad, because I don’t think there any particular qualities that make a violin a Strad, but there are qualities that make for a violin I like. If the violin I like the most is not a Strad I usually am quite happy, since that means I could probably buy it!


    in this case I liked the violin that was not a Strad!

  12. Here in Spain the government announced a 15 day lockout a week ago. They need to go through both chambers to pass that emergency state again, but it looks like they are going to do it. I expect a 50 day strict quarantine, roughly the same as in China. Given the size of the US it’s hard to take measures like that, but I’m guessing it’ll happen: a 50 day quarantine everywhere in the world, just delayed. We got ours a week after Italy’s, so do the math.

  13. I would also say that there are a somewhat limited number of playing styles and that each of them will favor a specific kind of violin. In that respect I think we could divide those playing styles by degree of constant pressure on the string, articulation, and vibrato.

    When I was a salesman and violin teacher in a violin shop in Texas, with instruments ranging from $500 to a $300000 Carlo Landolfi, my colleague and I would do blind tests with violins in every price range, always using the same violins and the same bow. I was the first one to do the test and to our surprise the winner was a humble Meinel violin. Different people did the test (ranging from students to symphony players from Juilliard et al) and the results were always different. Sometimes we couldn’t believe that this or that violin could be *that* good or *that* terrible from player to player! On the other hand, there were some instruments that everybody liked but never rose to the top of the competition. From that experience I think that there are violins that “work” for everybody but aren’t great for anyone, and violins that sound mediocre for some people but are just what someone else needs.

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