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Ernee

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  1. We all have our neuroses and misfortunes. Somehow, I got much too tense while playing as a teenager. Or sloppy, if I was able to avoid that. I think a lot of that was the Galamian influence, which I digested as needing to seize control of the bow. More recently, I've been playing (and buying) a fair number of good bows. Mostly modern, but also some antiques. What I have found is that in the process of listening to what each bow can do, I end up holding the stick more lightly. Essentially, by just letting the hair glide over the string and generate whatever vibrations it wants to, I can create more sound and emphasize the difference between one good bow and the next. If I ever do get back to working on concerti, I think it will be a good set of reflexes to have in the tool kit.
  2. That P with a circle around it looks to ask for a re-take. Since there is English translation on part of the text, might there be an introduction to the whole volume that has abbreviations listed?
  3. Didn't Vuillaume mess around with those things?
  4. There was a company that developed a roller carry-on that took a violin inside. If you stow it diagonally, you should be able to get it into a 21-22" suitcase. They also developed a telescoping handle for the carry-on that concealed the bow. When you get on board, remove the bow. It should be almost undetectable in the overhead compartment. You could fuss with your own luggage to do the same. Take a nice, hard-sided Rimowa, Samsonite, Briggs & Riley, etc, and use cut-out pieces of foam to hold the violin. Of course, there are conventional cases that don't hold bows and are short enough to cause very little questioning. Musafia now offers one. The bow is a bit more of a trick, but if you aren't worried about theft you could put that into a strong case and stick it-- diagonally, again-- into a check-in suitcase. Or take your chances by slinging the tiniest possible bow case over your shoulder.
  5. The Guarneri definitely has a lot more power on the recording. Different miking? Or just a different beast? Be curious about impressions of the Serafin. One of the nicest fiddles I ever tried was by him. This video has some character but not a ton of projection.
  6. Will the results be made public? Curious on a couple of items (in a general way)
  7. I know nothing of Parker (or English instruments generally) but that is some very decent-looking varnish. Not Cremonese, of course, but able to swim with Italian gentry of that period.
  8. There is an optimal place for the bridge, and lengthening the string length won't help you find it. A good 3/4 has its value, but not for that.
  9. Perhaps you would do better with a lighter gauge string? When I was experimenting with Tricolore, I found that on some violins the middle weight was just too difficult to get to respond. This was particularly true on the A and D, and was fixed by moving to light (weich) gauge. Not so on a del Gesu model for some reason, which might explain why Heifetz liked the medium gauge. There are also some bows that grab strings more effectively, perhaps by helping your right hand relax. Still, the least expensive solution to all of this is to try new or different rosin. Apart from being fresh, the correct choice might end up being toward the soft end of the spectrum, but that is worth experimentation. (Piranito is a hard formula.) The Andrea/Cecilia Solo is a good default option, but there are others. Guillaume, Bernardel, Leatherwood ($$$!), and so on. And, of course, Pirastro has a softer formula they insist is perfect for EP Green. https://www.pirastro.com/public_pirastro/pages/en/Rosin/ Then, if you're working with a teacher, see if your right hand would do better if it let the bow do its own thing and not get too tense.
  10. It seems that there are two asymmetries at work here, or three. One is faulty execution. Possible, but not likely in the best makers. Second is a by-product of the neck twisting things out of shape. Different tensions of strings from E to G, and stresses of performing make that all the more likely. Then there is intentional asymmetry (or incidental, perhaps, while the maker was aiming at a particular quality). I once saw a video by Charles Ervin, I think, where he shows that pinpricks in the Stradivari forms show that the sound holes were designed to be ever so slightly off-kilter vs. each other, with the left one a bit higher. Might there be some of that going on with the rest of the body?
  11. Cleveland Violins was selling, some 5 or so years ago, carbon or synthetic bows from China with no brand. $500. They could be really good, if you took care to select the best. I haven't compared mine directly to JonPaul or other quality synthetics, but I don't find myself wishing I were using a fine wood bow when I pick it up. I was introduced to them by a professional who knew that the Emerson Quartet was using them. Whether for recording sessions and concerts, or lessons with more unruly students, I could not say. I also do not know if Cleveland Violins are offering exactly the same line today.
  12. Has anyone run across a maker named A. Patalni [hand-written, so I might have made an error] from Yonkers, NY? A viola purchased from the previous-- probably first-- owner's estate was used by my sister some decades ago, and I've just taken it in for some deferred maintenance.
  13. Usually, I put it on a shoulder strap so it is more or less hidden by my back. It helps that I am 6'1". For regional flights, a small shaped case would be necessary, but for international flights even a double case seems to work out OK. Alternatives would be a violin-only case (Musafia is now in that business!). A separate case for the bow can go in almost any overhead compartment, no matter how full. Or, if you want to take a different sort of risk, the bow case can be put into a large-ish suitcase that goes in the hold. For that, I'd want a rigid piece, though.
  14. Sergiu Luca did record the set on a Baroque violin, but he had not come across the Seraphin until a few years after that. (I did hear him on that fiddle in Wigmore Hall, doing the whole cycle.) Can't remember what the other instrument was.
  15. The Boston Pops-ish suite that youth orchestras always drag out is lame. But the Symphonic Dances are pretty hot. Lots of material, and brilliantly focused.
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